Noise confirmed: Two jets from Vermont
FARMINGTON - The loud noise in the sky that prompted many residents to call the police a week ago has been confirmed by authorities as two F16s from Burlington, Vermont on a training run.
A loud, rumbling noise followed by a big boom at about 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19 was enough to prompt several area residents to call police. The noise and explosive-sounding boom, or a possible sonic boom, that shook windows was caused by “jets flying around,” explained one Franklin County dispatcher last week.
Brook Davis, a spokeswoman for the Eastern Air Defense Sector which monitors the Air National Guard's training flights over New England, said according to flight logs, two F16s from the 158th Fighter Wing in Vermont were conducting training runs in the Condor airspace over western Maine on the afternoon Thursday, Nov. 19.
Davis said her office received "five or six calls asking what the noise was and that kind of thing," she said.
Lt. Col Lloyd Goodrow, the public affairs spokesman for the 158th Fighter Wing, also confirmed on Wednesday that two F16 jets on a "practice scramble" flight training exercise at the time when the noise was reported, but said neither pilot reported going fast enough to cause a sonic boom. The training run did include flying in a corridor over Farmington north to Kingfield.
"The pilots are required to log in when they fly supersonic," Goodrow said. Supersonic refers to flying at speeds exceeding 750 miles per hour, or faster than the speed of sound, that can cause the so-called sonic boom or an explosive sound somewhat akin to thunder.
Normally, Goodrow said, Vermont's Air National Guard jets train over northern New York state in the military operations area, Adirondack Airspace Complex west of ANG's base in Burlington, but this particular "practice scramble" required the two pilots to make an unplanned run into the Condor airspace, also a designated military operations area over western Maine.
"They said they were not flying faster than the sound barrier," Goodrow said. He allowed as how it's not impossible for pilots to cause a sonic boom and not know it, if rare atmospheric conditions are conductive to it happening at the time.
"We fly supersonic intentionally over the ocean. It's pretty unusual over land," he said and added, "maybe twice a year we'll get calls" complaining about the jet noise.
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