RAF Lakenheath apologises for 'accidental' sonic boom

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An airbase has apologised after one of its planes "inadvertently" went supersonic, creating a loud bang that was heard on the ground.

A spokesperson for RAF Lakenheath, in Suffolk, said several people had posted on Twitter about hearing the sound near Watton in Norfolk.

Flight tapes showed the noise was caused by an F-15 jet flying within 25 miles (40km) of the town on 17 April.

The spokesperson apologised for "any disturbances" it may have caused.

A sonic boom is created as an aircraft breaks the sound barrier, causing a high-energy shockwave.

"It appears one of our aircraft may have inadvertently gone supersonic momentarily and did not realise it during the flight," the spokesperson said.

"We will continue to emphasise air-speed restrictions in flight briefings to keep this from happening in the future."

About 75 jets are based at RAF Lakenheath, which last month announced it was to reduce flying hours due to US defence cuts.

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