A loud bang heard over York today was a sonic boom after RAF Typhoon fighter jets were scrambled to intercept an unidentified aircraft.

As reported by The Press, residents across York were startled by a loud bang shortly before midday today (Monday, February 5).

The Royal Air Force (RAF) has now confirmed that the bang was a sonic boom caused by fighter jets breaking the sound barrier.

An RAF spokesperson said Typhoon jets were deployed after a civilian aircraft had lost communications and couldn't be identified.

They said: "Quick reaction alert (QRA) Typhoon aircraft were launched from RAF Coningsby (Lincolnshire) to intercept a civilian aircraft that had lost communications.


"Subsequently, communications were re-established, the aircraft was intercepted and safely escorted to Manchester.

"The sonic boom heard was caused by these RAF Typhoons, the aircraft were authorised to transit at supersonic speed for operational reasons.

"The RAF is responsible for policing UK airspace and would prefer not to cause any disturbance to those on the ground

"However, the safety and security of the nation remains paramount and the RAF must continue to robustly secure the UK skies and maintain national security in an unpredictable and dangerous world."

Quick reaction alerts can be launched to intercept aircraft that cannot be dealt with by other means. The RAF crews are held at "immediate readiness", meaning they can take off within minutes.

The RAF added: "Today and every day, just as during the Battle of Britain, they maintain the highest level of readiness.

"In the UK, under the direction of our air battlespace controllers at RAF Boulmer (Northumberland) our fighters can be scrambled to intercept, identify and, if required, intercept aircraft approaching our shores."

Residents of York reported hearing "two loud bangs" just before midday today (February 5). As The Press reported, the majority believed the noise to be due to a typhoon jet flying overhead.

One reader told The Press that they "thought it sounded a bit like a distant explosion or building collapse."

Fulford resident, Colin Briden, said: "I operate a seismometer in Fulford which picked up the loud bang near York this morning.

"It was significantly louder than any other seismic noise generated by the city."