Sonic Boom in Seattle: Cessna 180 Plane Violated Airspace Restrictions

Sonic Boom in Seattle: Cessna 180 Plane Violated Airspace Restrictions – A lot of tweets surfaced Thursday about a great sound that shook some of the apartments and buildings in Seattle. Some thought that it was an earthquake. Others said that it was like a giant stomping his feet on the ground. However, upon further inquiries, it was found out that the sound came from two sonic booms.

A sonic boom is the sound associated with the shock waves created by supersonic flight of an aircraft when it exceeded the speed of sound generating huge amounts of sound energy, sounding much like an explosion.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the sonic boom that occurred around 2pm Thursday came from two military fighter jets dispatched from Portland after the pilot of a spotted aircraft violated presidential airspace restrictions in lieu of Obama’s visit to Seattle for a campaign fund raising event for Sen. Patty Murray.

It was then later confirmed that the sonic booms came from two F-15s, a twin-engine, all-weather tactical fighter aircraft designed to gain and maintain air superiority in aerial combat. The North American Aerospace Defense Command providing aerospace warning to both US and Canada immediately dispatched the said fighter jets upon receiving reports of an airspace violation.

The subject of the violation was a Cessna 180 float plane which breached the presidential no-fly zone. Laura Joseph, a passenger of the Cessna 180 was puzzled after she saw an F-15 fighter plane calling their attention. She later found out about the airspace violation that she and her companion Daily committed.

The two sonic booms prompted various people to exit from their respective workplaces in nearby areas to inquire about the cause of the two window-shaking booms. Below is a picture of the Cessna 180 which breached the presidential airspace restrictions.

18 thoughts on “Sonic Boom in Seattle: Cessna 180 Plane Violated Airspace Restrictions

  1. Well that is a good explanation, but explain why the Sonic Booms reached past 30 miles and just as glass shattering and loud 60 some miles away and the shaking of the ground came a few minutes after. There was something a little more deeper going on in Seattle than a Sonic Boom. Also the plane that was supposed to cause all the commotion actually landed a long before the jets were up there.
    From a scientific outlook a sonic boom can be faintly heard not felt up to 300 miles away.It was impossible for it to travel with such explosion and intensity as many people in Tacoma over 50 mile away said they felt like Bombs were being dropped. So come up with another explanation other than a cover up.

    1. Really Elli,
      You really think that its some kind of cover up? I grew up around sonic booms for years living near a military base. Its no cover up. If you were not there and Im sure you were not there in the plane that crossed the air space. You are relaying only on what people have stated in the news and most of that is not correct for at least a couple days after an event like this. So dont go judging everything till YOU get all the facts!

    2. Some of the stuff I’ve read below is abosolutely nuts.

      1. This was not a flying saucer… are you kidding me?
      2. A sonic boom follows an aircraft the entire time it is supersonic so that’s why it covered such a large area. Until the pilot slows down (not until he catches us to the plane he’s intercepting) every area beneath him will get “boomed.” You don’t hear them much these days because pilots are so restriced as to where they can do them because people bitch, whine and start coming up with conspiracy theories at the slightest hint of a boom… present case should be proof of that.
      3. McChord is a C-17 base with no fighers… it would be great if people took an interest to learn what their local bases had and brought to the fight. Portland is the nearest F-15 (fighter interceptor) base to that area. Yes, it is kind of far away and it would be great if we had more… come on tax payers, poney up some $$$ and make it happen. Regardless, that’s why they had to fly fast and break the sound barrier to get there from far away.
      4. Very possible the cessna was flying under visual flight rules (VFW) and not talking to anyone. Pilots should check the NOTAMS (notices to airman) that list restricted flying zones for such things as presidential visits… obviously in this case these pilots did not do what is expected of every pilot prior to a flight. Check the weather and the notams… they teach that in flight 101.
      5. Lastly, this is a simple slow moving plane that was flying where it wasn’t supposed to be and a simple F-15 scramble intercept. Nothing more nothing less. Come on people, get a grip. Be thankful you got to hear the sonic boom. It really is a pretty cool thing and a pretty awesome display of good old american power.

  2. The planes where flying from Portland, the sonic boom would travel with the plane, it isnt a single event. So if the plane travels over Tacoma and then over Seattle it will be heard with the same intensity.

  3. I grabbed the family and we all went under the staircase held the guns towards the door thinking the end was near. I should have known this was an Obama shenanigan!! My wife peed her self because I wouldn’t let anyone out of the staircase almost shot my neighbor when he came to our door!

    1. One day you will be in a bell tower shooting children. Keep watching FOX for your justification. God is speaking to you through the TV.

  4. James – you and your family are sick!

    We went up on the roof we were unable to see anything. Neighbor has a picture of something looks like a flying saucer?

  5. Well that solves that then, it’s a cover-up. A cover-up for a huge, possibly land, sea or air-based invisible explosion that wasn’t seen or recorded by anyone or anything in one of the most technically dense and wired regions of the US. Forget that the people on board the plane state that the F-15 flew by them once on their way to Lake Union. Or that the sonic booms correlate to the arrival of the F-15s in the area or any of the other facts. As if there isn’t enough real crazy crap going on in the world, do we really need to make stuff up?

  6. Stephen is correct. Here’s one definition you can find on the Internet (below). A sonic boom is continually generated by the plane as it flies – it only seems like a distinct event to you as one listener, since you are hit by the sound one time (actually twice – a major and minor boom, and in this case there two planes, therefore two big and two small booms). There is no coverup.

    What is a Sonic Boom?

    Sonic boom is an impulsive noise similar to thunder. It is caused by an object moving faster than sound, about 750 miles per hour at sea level. An aircraft traveling through the atmosphere continuously produces air-pressure waves similar to the water waves caused by a ship’s bow. When the aircraft exceeds the speed of sound, these pressure waves combine and form shock waves which travel forward from the generation or “release” point.

    As an aircraft flies at supersonic speeds it is continually generating shock waves, dropping sonic boom along its flight path, similar to someone dropping objects from a moving vehicle. From the perspective of the aircraft, the boom appears to be swept backwards as it travels awayfrom the aircraft. If the plane makes a sharp turn or pulls up, the boom will hit the ground in front of the aircraft.

  7. i have several questions concerning the “sonic boom”

    1. according to first reports the jets went supersonic in the seattle area
    and that is why we heard the “sonic boom”. if the jets came from portland, why
    would they go supersonic at the end of the flight and not at the start? i have
    looked up information on sonic booms and it does not say there is any sort of boom
    when slowing back down. wouldn’t the jets be slowing down in the seattle area?

    2. why did the jets come from portland when we have the largest afb here in washington? (mcchord afb). are there no fighter jets in mcchord afb?

    3. i have lived in western washington for 25 years and have never heard a “sonic boom” before. with mcchord afb here it seems we would have. can this really be the first time a jet has gone supersonic in this area? i find that hard to believe.

    4. reports have already started to conflict. yesterdays report said that the plane had already left the area when the jets arrived. todays report said the plane did not even know they were in a restricted area till they saw the jet next to them.
    i have been in a small plane like the cessna 180. i flew as a passenger from olympia wa. to oregon. most of that time the pilot was on the radio talking to airport towers for news, weather and stats. a half an hour before we landed he was talking to the tower at our destination, and he said that this was standard procedure. could it be possible that the cessna 180 had no communication with its destination before it got there?

    1. I was living in Clatskanie, OR in 1966 when we heard a sonic boom that happened over Longview, WA. It sounded like something hit my mobile home, and it scared the liver out of me. I ran, with my newborn baby, to my inlaw’s house next door. My brother in law came and looked over my home from all sides and saw nothing (it was at night, BTW) and a while later we heard on the Longview radio station that there had been a jet crossing the sound barrier. Next day, my bro in law went up on a ladder and there was a huge dent, right over the living room. Still there, I’m sure. But I never heard of any reports of other cities having heard or felt anything anywhere closer than where I was, which is about a twenty minute drive from Longview. I find it rather strange that a boom would be heard as far reaching as this one was. First reports I heard were that a plane had been shot down over Napavine, because it had invaded no fly zone and didn’t respond to orders to leave or come down. Interesting. I wonder if we have heard the truth, or will we ever?

    2. The problem for the pilot of the Cessna 180 was the fact that he did not check to see if there were any “Temporary Flight Restrictions” (TFR) on his flight path before traveling. If he did, he would have seen that a VIP was in the area spending huge amounts of taxpayer dollars. Even if he stays in constant communication with airport traffic control, they would not normally tell the pilot about the TFR, unless the pilot asked for Flight Following. It is the pilots responsibility to check before flying.

  8. I know what fighter jets they are talking about..they take off on a daily basis from the Portland Airport. I am now in Tacoma and I heard the booms driving my car. It actually shook it! It was interesting watching people come out of the buildings where they worked as I drove home. And I did find out that it did not knock out the 911 systems landlines like the news was saying. My mom works there and the systems are equipped to handle that kind of emergency. Just figured I’d add that.

  9. Re Joe’s questions:

    1. The sonic booms trailed the two fighters from Vancouver up to the Seattle area. Reports of a boom from Centralia just are not as newsworthy as reports from a major metro region. Also the intensity of the booms drop off the further you are from being directly under the flight path. A direct line from Portland to Seattle passes over relatively uninhabited terrain until you hit the Sound.

    2. The 142nd out of Portland is the designated air defense folk for the US West Coast from Northern Cal up to the Canadian border. McChord has been an airlift base for many years. Absolutely glorious C-17s, but I don’t think they have had fighters since the F-106s went away decades ago.

    3. Sonic booms are very rare these days. Military aircraft are generally only permitted to exceed the sound barrier over training ranges or the ocean. If you leave near fighter heavy bases, you will still hear some as pilots make mistakes.

    4. My understanding is that one fighter made a single pass before the civilian aircraft landed but technically did not intercept/escort. Not sure about the lack of radio communication. It was a float plane so perhaps if they were not planning on entering the controlled airspace of an airport…

  10. I say, thank goodness that those aircraft were dispatched and did fly as fast as they did to protect our president. No matter if you like him or not, the fact that our military has the means to intercept an aircraft that may be planning to do harm to our nation. I don’t know if you all remember a day a few years back in September, the 11th I think but most certainly if there is an aircraft, not responding to calls from air traffic control, heading toward the president’s restricted airspace, I would hope we would scramble some jets. Oh and as an air traffic controller at one of the busiest training bases in the US, I can assure you that PLENTY of aircraft transit our airspace without uttering a peep. Dangerous? Maybe, but it happens dozens of times every day…

  11. It was probably Obama trying to hide the fact that he is Islam. I’m kidding! Really? Life would be so much easier if we didn’t have to waste time debunking truths (over and over and over and over and over).

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