Mystery solved: IAF test flight behind sonic boom in Bengaluru
Bengaluru, May 20: The loud noise heard over the city, triggering panic among the residents was the result of a routine Indian Air Force test flight.
"It was a routine IAF Test Flight involving a supersonic profile which took off from Bluru Airport and flew in the allotted airspace well outside City limits. The aircraft was of Aircraft Systems and Testing Establishment (ASTE)," a Ministry of Defence statement said.
The aircraft was far away from the city limits when this occurred. The sound of a sonic boom can be heard and felt by an observer even when the aircraft is flying as far away as 65 to 80 kilometres away from the person whose Test Pilots & Flight Test Engineers routinely test out all aeroplanes." it said.
#Update— PRO Bengaluru, Ministry of Defence (@Prodef_blr) May 20, 2020
It was a routine IAF Test Flight involving a supersonic profile which took off from Bluru Airport and flew in the allotted airspace well outside City limits. The aircraft was of Aircraft Systems and Testing Establishment (ASTE) @IAF_MCC @SpokespersonMoD
"The sonic boom was probably heard while the aircraft was decelerating from supersonic to subsonic speed between 36,000 and 40000 feet altitude," it further added.
Earlier, netizens speculated whether it was an earthquake or an explosion, but it was neither.
The sound was heard across the city from Kempegowda International Airport off Devanahalli in the north to Kengeri and Electronic City in the South. Many people feared it could be a mild tremor as doors and windows shook after the noise.
However, the Commissioner of Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority Manoj Rajan ruled out the possibility of any earthquake and said it needed to be investigated.
The Bengaluru police commissioner Bhaskar Rao said there was no damage reported anywhere. He said he too came to know from media about the sound heard from the Airport to Hebbagodi here. However, there were no calls to the police control room regarding any damage.
"We have also asked the Air Force Control Room to check if it was a jet or supersonic sound. Bengaluru police are awaiting confirmation from the Air Force," Rao said in a statement.
The Indian Air Force later clarified that no training command aircraft was flying in the area. "However, ASTE and HAL could have been undertaking their routine test flying, which necessitates going supersonic at times".