Boom that could cost RAF

Les Chrisp, of Motorcare in Alnwick, sent this picture taken from the front of the showroom facing south east two minutes after the boom.
Les Chrisp, of Motorcare in Alnwick, sent this picture taken from the front of the showroom facing south east two minutes after the boom.

THE RAF could be held responsible for any damage caused during last week’s sonic boom in Northumberland.

Windows rattled and buildings shook at around 3.15pm last Thursday when an RAF Tornado aircraft broke the sound barrier during a training exercise over the North Sea.

Initial reports on social networking sites Facebook and Twitter were that an ‘earthquake’ had been felt.

But seismologists at the British Geological Survey (BGS) said the shockwave came from a ‘sonic event’ which was picked up by its sensitive monitoring equipment based in Edinburgh and the Scottish Borders.

larajh29 on twitter said: “Massive noise and ground shook here at Chillingham. Cattle warden said all birds took off from trees a split second behind.”

Motorcare_Ford said: “Showroom shook, doors and windows rattled. Quite strong.”

It is believed that damage was caused in Berwick and the movement was felt from there down to south east Northumberland.

On Thursday, a spokeswoman from RAF Boulmer, home to the Nato Control and Reporting Centre, said: “We can confirm that a single Tornado GR4 from RAF Lossiemouth completed a pre-planned supersonic run off the coast of Northumberland this afternoon during a sortie to RAF Marham in Norfolk.

“The supersonic element of the flight was conducted in accordance with RAF flying training rules, which state that aircraft should be more than 10 miles from the coast.”

An RAF spokesman added: “We are anxious that no-one should suffer loss or material damage as a result of service flying.”

Anyone believing they sustained damage should contact the RAF giving as much detail as possible.

Write to CLC&P Claims 2a, 1st Floor, Zone I, MOD Main Building, Whitehall, London SW1A 2HB or email DBR-CLCP-Claims2a@mod.uk