Groundworker blinded by aircraft landing lights at St Petersburg airport

An investigation was opened after a groundworker of Pulkovo Airport in St. Petersburg suffered an eye injury from landing lights as he was marshaling an aircraft to its stand.

On the night of February 24, 2021, a Boeing 737-800, registered as VP-BQQ, operated by the low-cost carrier Pobeda, just landed in Pulkovo Airport (LED), St. Petersburg, after carrying out flight DP211 from Vnukovo International Airport (VKO) in Moscow. 

The aircraft was taxiing to its gate when the flight crew tested its landing lights twice. The flash blinded the marshaller that was guiding the aircraft. The airport employee was sent to the first-aid post and later referred to an eye trauma center. According to the preliminary diagnosis, the exposure to bright light damaged the worker’s cornea.

An internal investigation was opened to determine if ground operations carried out at St. Petersburg airport are in accordance with the safety norms of Russian legislation.

In February 2020, a pilot of the Canadian airline Jazz received injuries to his eyes from a laser beam as he was on approach to Ottawa.


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