Apology as F-15 from RAF Lakenheath causes tremor in Welsh town after smashing sound barrier

09:57 14 March 2014

An F-15 taking off from RAF Lakenheath

An F-15 taking off from RAF Lakenheath

Archant

An F-15 fighter pilot from RAF Lakenheath gave residents in a Welsh town a rude awakening on Monday when he accidentally caused a sonic boom.

The pilot blasted through the 761mph sound barrier to send tremors through Aberystwyth, smashing windows and dislodging ceiling tiles in the process.

A spokesman for the USAF base said several aircraft were in the area performing an air-to-air training mission when the incident took place.

“We can confirm that an aircraft from RAF Lakenheath is likely to have been responsible for the sonic boom reported over Aberystwyth.

“At that time, several F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft were conducting a challenging air-to-air training mission. Typically, this would be carried out over water but the airspace to be used was lost to us and the jets were re-routed to the Wales Military Training Airspace.

“During the course of the training exercise, near the coast and in the vicinity of Aberystwyth, one of the aircraft, already travelling at high speed, inadvertently and briefly went supersonic at around 18,000 feet and in the process was likely to have caused the noise that was reported online.

“We offer our sincerest apologies for any disturbance or concern that this may have caused. We continue to emphasise airspeed restrictions in our pre-flight briefings to minimise the possibility of inadvertently breaching the sound barrier.”

A number of residents took to Twitter to report the sonic boom, with some fearing a bomb had been dropped on the town.

0 comments

More news stories

Yesterday, 23:38
Crews tackle a house fire in Chatteris. Picture: CAMBS POLICE.

Two house fires in less than 12 hours – one at Watlington near Kings Lynn and another at Chatteris- have left one woman dead.

09:25
Jake Kane

A heartbroken mother is urging parents to kiss their children and tell them they love them as she marks her son’s first birthday since he died in a motorbike crash.

08:00
Back from left: Michael Waites, MP Steve Barclay and Catherine Carlise (headteacher). Front: Althea Waites.

A flag designed by 11 year-old Alderman Jacobs School pupil Althea Waites has been flying proudly outside the House of Commons.

Yesterday, 22:42
Trees like this one will be removed from Wisbech market place

One of the biggest changes since it was acquired by the town council three years ago is under way with the removal – and replacement- of trees on Wisbech market place.

Most read stories

Most commented stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Cambs Times e-edition today E-edition