Sonic boom after RAF jets scrambled to intercept private plane

A sonic boom has been heard over London and Cambridge after two RAF jets were scrambled to intercept a private plane.

The aircraft was travelling from Germany and had lost communication with air traffic controllers.

It was diverted to Stansted Airport by the Typhoon jets, which took off from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.

Several people reported hearing a “massively loud bang” in London, Cambridge and other areas in the South East.

Posting on Twitter, 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?”

Another user, John Walsh, 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!”

Meanwhile, Jenny Hao said: “Has there been some sort of explosion in #Deptford? Just felt enormous bang whilst walking along the river in Greenwich and saw smoke.”

Emma Boswell posted: “I was walking through Waltham Abbey when I heard it. Honestly thought a bomb went off but yeah it was a sonic boom in Cambridge!”

Other users posted video of one of the jets flying over Stansted Airport, and tracking data showing the aircraft’s supersonic speed.

An RAF spokesperson said: “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.”

The jets are often deployed to escort aircraft that lose contact with air traffic control or don’t respond to communications.

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