US News Ryanair jet scare sparks RAF sonic boom chase

12:45  04 october  2017
12:45  04 october  2017 Source:   Sky News

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A sonic boom from an RAF Typhoon fighter jet scared residents of the West Midlands yesterday, causing a flood of calls to be made to the emergency services.

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The Ryanair plane. Pic: Andy Longhurst © Other The Ryanair plane. Pic: Andy Longhurst

RAF jets were scrambled to escort a Ryanair plane to Stansted Airport following a suspected "hoax" security alert.

The budget carrier said a flight from Kaunas in Lithuania to London Luton was diverted to London Stansted after Lithuanian authorities received information.

Flights were temporarily grounded and the runway closed for a short time, but has since re-opened, after the plane landed safely at around 8.55am.

Images posted on social media showed armed police on the scene as passengers were brought off the aircraft.

Ryanair plane. Pic: Zulu_Wooloo © Other Ryanair plane. Pic: Zulu_Wooloo A Ryanair spokesman said customers passengers would be transferred to Luton by coach when the airline was given the clearance to do so.

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Sky's Defence Correspondent Alistair Bunkall said: "Two RAF Typhoon aircraft - it's always two - were launched from RAF Conningsby in Lincolnshire. They escorted a Ryanair flight in to Stansted.

"Stansted is one of the designated airports they shepherd and escort it in to if there is potentially a problem on board.

"Having escorted it successfully in to Stansted the RAF then basically hand over the situation to the police on the ground."

The Ryanair plane. Pic: Andy Longhurst © Other The Ryanair plane. Pic: Andy Longhurst Essex Police said officers were on the scene while inquiries into the incident continued.

A sonic boom echoed across the Suffolk skyline when the RAF jets took to the air.

An RAF spokesman said: "The RAF can confirm Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon aircraft were launched this morning from RAF Coningsby to intercept a civilian aircraft.

"The aircraft was safely escorted to Stansted Airport. The Typhoon aircraft were authorised to transit at supersonic speed for operational reasons; any inconvenience caused to local residents is regretted."

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