The utter stupidity and naïveté of the aviation challenged masses – their complete lack of comprehension or knowledge often leaves me wondering what happened to us. This incident explains so much.
At 4:17am today a sonic boom preceded by a slight orange glow was heard all over London and beyond.
The moaning started immediately on Twitter. Someone complained a dog figurine had fallen off a mantelpiece.
The reason that the RAF scrambled a pair of Typhoons and then allowed something only done in emergency situations over built up areas – to go supersonic – was an inbound civil airliner. It suddenly lost all communications with air traffic control and went dark on ADS-B.
Bearing in mind terrorist attacks in London and The Hague only a day before – the jets were sent to intercept it.
It’s a well known “unconfirmed fact” that depending on how these things unfold, if necessary a jet will be shot down if it poses a risk to a major population area.
The conspiracy theorists were at it immediately seeing something sinister in the orange flash right before they heard the boom.
The flash is a combination of after burner and the boom as it compresses the air – seen on the ground before the sound arrives because sound travels far more slowly and arrives later than light.
But even basic simple science fails the denizens of a complacent London. More bothered about their sleep than the RAF doing their job of protecting the ignorant, they moan.
But there was wit too: “it was actually Prince Andrew having another uncontrolled melt down practising in front of cameras at Buckingham Palace” quipped one tweet.
Meanwhile our all too frequent complacencies were on display again. Fortunately those with clearer heads not expecting an alien invasion this morning were able to explain to many the error of their views. But it’s social media, and online nobody changes their mind.