Two RAF fighter jets were scrambled yesterday in a bid to intercept a private plane that had lost communications with air traffic controllers. With people in London and Cambridge hearing a ‘supersonic boom’ which some said rattled the windows of their homes.
RAF fighter jets scrambled after private plane was ‘unresponsive’: It was confirmed later by the RAF that two Typhoon jets had taken off from their base in Coningsby, Lincolnshire to intercept the private plane that was travelling from Germany when it lost contact with ground control. After communications had been restored the plane was guided into Stansted Airport near London by the jets.
Cambridge City Council said in a tweet “If you heard a massively loud bang over Cambridge in the last few minutes, don’t panic. Apparently it was the sonic boom from a fighter plane breaking the sound barrier!” A ‘sonic boom’ occurs when shock waves are created by an object travelling faster than the speed of sound. Twitter user Alistair Broomhead said “Just heard a loud boom in E12, windows rattled, sounded like an explosion, anyone else in London hear anything? Know what’s going on?”
While another said “Sonic boom just now over Cambridge! Blew my window off its casement stay and scared the bloomin’ life out of me and the several pigeons outside!” An RAF spokesman said in a statement “The RAF can confirm Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon aircraft were launched this afternoon from RAF Coningsby to intercept a civilian aircraft that had lost communications.
Subsequently, communications were re-established, the aircraft was intercepted and safely escorted to Stansted. The Typhoon aircraft were authorised to transit at supersonic speed for operational reasons
Share on your Social Networks