Narrow laser beams directed from aircraft may at times pass through the exhaust plume of the engines and potentially degrade some of the laser beam characteristics. This paper reports on controlled studies of laser beam deviation arising from propagation through turbulent hot gases, in a well-characterized laboratory burner, with conditions of relevance to aircraft engine exhaust plumes. The impact of the temperature, laser wavelength, and turbulence length scale on the beam deviation has been investigated. It was found that the laser beam displacement increases with the turbulent integral length scale. The effect of temperature on the laser beam angular deviation, ?, using two different laser wavelengths, namely 4:67 μm and 632:8 nm, was recorded. It was found that the beam deviation for both wavelengths may be semiempirically modeled using a single function of the form, δ = a(b + (1/T)2)?1, with two parameters only, a and b, where ? is in microradians and T is the temperature in °C. © 2011 Optical Society of America.