'Sounded like my roof was coming off': RAF jet sonic boom heard over city

A large bang was heard over parts of Norwich on Wednesday.

A large bang was heard over parts of Norwich on Wednesday. - Credit: FlightRadar24

People living in and around Norwich reported hearing a very loud noise over the city on Wednesday.

The noise was heard in Taverham, Hellesdon and other suburbs of the city shortly before midday.

Scores of people immediately took to social media to discuss it, with some reporting large vibrations being felt along with the noise.

Emma Lewis-Garland, from south Norwich, said: "Doors and windows shook and the neighbours heard it too. Very loud, weird explosion noise."

Ian Goodson, who lives in Taverham, said the noise sounded like "a sonic boom or earthquake".

"It was a large vibration, and dull bang with all the windows shaking in the house", he added.

Meanwhile, other people reported hearing the noise in Costessey, at the University of East Anglia and in Wymondham.

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Another Norwich person said she "thought a car had hit something", while another added: "It sounded like my roof was coming off".

Many commenters online said they thought it was a sonic boom, while a spokesperson for Norfolk Police added that the force also believed this to be the case

The RAF later confirmed that the noise was caused accidentally by one of its jets.

A spokesperson said: "The sonic boom heard in East Anglia was inadvertently caused by a RAF Hawk aircraft completing a high speed dive as part of an air test schedule.

"Any inconvenience caused to local residents is regretted."


What is a sonic boom?

Sonic booms are caused whenever an object, such as a jet plane, travels through the air faster than the speed of sound.

The huge amount of sound energy generated means the phenomenon can often sound like a thunder clap or an explosion to those in the vicinity.

These sonic booms from jet aircraft can be very loud and, in some extreme scenarios, have been known to cause damage to buildings and break windows.

This is why those flying aircraft with supersonic capability, such as Hawk and Typhoon jets, are only ever allowed to break the sound barrier in exceptional circumstances.

They don't happen often, but there have been examples in Norfolk before, such as one in 2017 when RAF Typhoons were scrambled to help a Ryanair passenger plane.

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