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Sonic boom: RAF Typhoons escort business jet to Stansted Airport

RAF fighter jets caused a sonic boom that was heard from Kent to Cambridge – including the Bishop's Stortford area – as they escorted a private jet to Stansted Airport today (Tuesday, January 12).

The Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft were scrambled from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire on what is known as a quick reaction alert (QRA).

They flew directly over Saffron Walden, Bishop's Stortford and disappeared from radar over Sawbridgeworth at around 1.10pm after communication problems were reported with a Bombardier Global Express business jet, operated by FAI Aviation Group, en route from Nuremberg in Germany to Birmingham.

Business jet flight path (43921610)
Business jet flight path (43921610)

It is believed the plane landed safely at around 1.40pm.

Such a military response is standard if air traffic control loses radio contact with a pilot.

In June 2019, a sonic boom from RAF jets scrambled in response to an incident on a Stansted Airport Jet2 flight to Turkey triggered a flood of 999 calls to emergency services in Hertfordshire and Essex.

Eurofighter flight path (43921612)
Eurofighter flight path (43921612)

Eight months later, 26-year-old Chloe Haines from Loudwater, near High Wycombe, Bucks, who drunkenly tried to open one of the plane's doors, was jailed for two years at Chelmsford Crown Court for assault by beating and recklessly or negligently acting in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft or people within.

A sonic boom is caused by shock waves created when an object travels through the air faster than the speed of sound. RAF Typhoons can fly at 1,550 miles per hour (2,495km).

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