August 17th, 2010
06:56 PM ET
12 years ago

Sonic booms of fighter jets rattle Seattle area

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption =" President Obama boarded Air Force One Tuesday in Seattle, Washington. A pair of sonic booms were heard and felt from two fighter jets scrambled when a plane entered restricted airspace while Obama was on the ground."](CNN) - Residents in Seattle, Washington, were shaken Tuesday afternoon by what sounded like explosions after two F-15s were dispatched in response to a report of a small plane that entered restricted airspace where President Barack Obama was campaigning for Sen. Patty Murray.

The rumblings - caused by sonic booms from the jets - rattled buildings, windows and nerves in the Puget Sound region, according to CNN affiliate KIRO. Viewers of the affiliate from as far away as Tacoma - about 40 miles south of Seattle - reported hearing the booms.

Dozens of residents called the city's 911 system, causing it to shut down in some areas for about an hour due to the flood of calls, Ed Troyer, a spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff's Department told KIRO.

"Many house and car alarms have been set off that we will not be able to respond to," Troyer told the affiliate.

The jets were launched out of Portland, Oregon, and "were on afterburners the whole time," Allen Kenitzer of the Federal Aviation Administration told CNN.

The plane in question - identified by the FAA as a Cessna 180 - left the temporarily restricted airspace before the jets intercepted it, said John Cornelio of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

The pilot of the plane later landed it near Lake Washington, Kenitzer said.

The incident is under investigation.

- CNN's Patrick Oppmann and Adam Levine contributed to this report.

(Updated at 7:40 p.m. ET)

Filed under: President Obama • Washington
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. midnitemom

    Kenmore Air president Todd Banks says the incursion was by a plane that landed at his float plane base on nearby Lake Washington. A passenger, Laura Joseph of Normandy Park, told The Associated Press she and the pilot were returning from Lake Chelan in eastern Washington and didn't know of the flight restrictions.

    August 17, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  2. ed

    Was there, heard it. Way cool.

    August 17, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  3. Erik

    I freaking love the greatest Air Force in the World!!!!!

    August 17, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  4. the real ib

    This guy needs to start acting like a president and stay home. Home is DC for the president; not spending all your time campaigning like this so called president does.

    August 17, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  5. Proud member of Global Zero

    If planes would just stay away from Airforce 1 this would not be a problem. I know that anyone flying where they should not be flying will never carry my family anywhere.

    Polls lie....I know of no one that voted for this president will not vote dem again. Why is it no one I know never gets polled?

    August 17, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  6. Pedro

    Fighter jets should accompany Air Force 1 at all times. It's a little ridiculous that they would have to race from hundreds of miles away if there ever were a real threat.

    August 17, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  7. David H

    I live about an hour and half away from Seattle depending on traffic, just south of Lacey in a small town called Yelm and the sonic booms were strong enough to not only shake our house 4 times, but rattle just about everything in the house that wasn't tied down.

    My entire neighbor was outside in less than a minute after the first sonic boom, shortly before the second one. Everyone was thinking either someone caused one hell of an accident or it was a really out of place terrorist attack.

    August 17, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  8. dejavu65

    yes i felt those shocks earlier today scared my little daughter, i thought a tree hit my house or something 🙂

    August 17, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  9. chris

    tell the truth and shame the devil.............

    August 17, 2010 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  10. Peter s

    Thats what I call man power!!!

    August 17, 2010 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  11. Ready for 2012

    Leave it to Obama to cause people trouble. HA HA

    August 17, 2010 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  12. Fox viewer

    Obama does create a ruckus wherever he goes or whatever he says !

    August 17, 2010 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |