SONIC BOOM: Plane passengers speak of Typhoon interception drama for first time

The Air France flight at Newcastle after it was intercepted by Typhoon jets. (Photo: Twitter).
The Air France flight at Newcastle after it was intercepted by Typhoon jets. (Photo: Twitter).

Passengers aboard the Air France airliner which was intercepted by RAF Typhoon jets which caused massive sonic booms across Doncaster had no idea of the drama unfolding.

Two fighter jets were scrambled to intercept the Air France Citijet flight from Paris Charles De Gaulle to Newcastle on Monday night after the plane lost radio contact and diverted off course.

The jets roared into the sky from Lincolnshire's RAF Coningsby and caused massive sonic booms across Doncaster and huge swathes of Yorkshire as they smashed the sound barrier en route to the north east.

Now passengers aboard flight AF 1558 have spoken for the first time about how they were blissfully unaware of the drama unfolding around them.

Mark Forrest, who was one of several people aboard the plane, which was escorted out across the North Sea before being brought into land at Newcastle at 10.20pm on Monday, said: "We missed the whole thing.

"We had headphones on and didn't know anything had happened until we landed and my phone lit up with messages."

Carolyn Robson, who was on the flight with Robert Jarvis said: "I'm still not fully sure what happened as we did not see or hear anything and we were not made aware of anything.

"The first I heard of it was on the news yesterday morning."

The plane was intercepted shortly before 10pm on Monday after the two Typhoons were scrambled from their base in Lincolnshire.

Shortly after 9.45pm, people all over Doncaster reported hearing massive "explosions" - with many rushing into the streets and throwing open windows to investigate the noise.

Facebook and Twitter were awash with rumours - terrorist activity, a plane crash at Robin Hood airport, thunderstorms - but many others had heard military jets roaring through the skies and it soon became apparent that the noises were sonic booms, created by the jets going supersonic in the skies above South Yorkshire.

The Ministry of Defence later confirmed the loud bangs were sonic booms, created when an aircraft goes faster than 767mph.