RAWALPINDI, Oct 21: The pilot of a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight coming to the federal capital from Karachi was distracted by a ‘flashing laser light’ for more than 15 minutes before landing at Benazir Bhutto Airport on Thursday night.

The pilot of PK-852 (Airbus) noticed interference by the flashing laser light and was distracted during crucial moments while making final approach near Mandra, about 25 kilometres from the airport, a source said.

The pilot informed the airport traffic control that he was being distracted by the flashing red laser light emerging from the east side of Mandra.

The distraction continued for more than 15 minutes; however, the aircraft safely landed at the airport at about 11.25 pm.

When contacted, Airport Manager Azhar Fahim Khattak confirmed the incident and said a report was to be submitted to him shortly. “Obviously, distraction during flight can be very dangerous.”

He said he would contact the police concerned to trace the man who was flashing the light at the passenger plane.

The official added that sometimes young people played with flashing laser light and the same might have happened with the PIA pilot.

“It would be the police (possibly the Mandra police) who would investigate the incident and trace the person,” Mr Fahim said.

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