Hijacking Panic Sends Terrifying Sonic Booms Over England

A series of unfortunate events: a confused helicopter pilot accidentally gives a signal that he's been hijacked. British RAF fighters are scrambled so quickly to shoot the thing down, they go supersonic. Brits down below fear explosions and earthquakes. Boom.

The Aviationist recounts the air force farce, which went down yesterday over English skies:

At 18.10LT on Thursday Apr. 12 emergency agency telephone switch boards started receiving reports of a large bang or explosion that could be heard all over the southern UK.

It took a couple of hours before the reason for the mysterious bang was made public.

Illustration for article titled Hijacking Panic Sends Terrifying Sonic Booms Over England

The frightened public had no idea that bang was caused by a group of Typhoon jets on 24/7 watch against terror threats. When the word went out (erroneously) that a helicopter had been hijacked (how does that even happen?), they roared off to intercept. Roared off so fast that they hit mach 1.2, and cracked a giant sonic boom that literally shook the ground below: "Even the British Geological Survery was contacted to see if the UK had suffered an earthquake."


Of course, this was all for naught. There was no hijacking. The chopper pilot realized the severe bollocking he'd just caused and reversed his hijacking alert, but of course by then it was too late—he's just lucky he didn't get a missile up his rotor. But, hey, bravo to the RAF—they'll certainly need that itchy sonic trigger finger when Olympics hysteria hits London. [The Aviationist]

Share This Story

Get our newsletter


Arggh! there goes a...snake a snake!

I apologize if this is a dumb question, but I've never actually heard a sonic boom. Is there actually a sonic boom in that video? To me it just sounds like the normal sound of a jet flying over.