Pilot on flight from Israel which sparked RAF sonic boom response says he ...

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The pilot on a flight from Israel which last night prompted an RAF scramble and sonic boom to shake southern England has spoken of his shock to see Typhoon jets on his wing.

The Typhoons were cleared to go supersonic in the early hours of Sunday to intercept an unresponsive Boeing 767 flying from Tel Aviv to New Hampshire, USA.

Pilot Steven Giordano told the BBC: 'I looked left and about had a heart attack when I saw one - so close - strobes on and with blueish "glow strips" along the side of his fuselage.

'We flashed our landing lights to acknowledge and established radio contact on "guard"... with the fighters. We were already talking to London control at that point. They remained with us for about five minutes.' 

Pilot Steven Giordano (pictured) said: 'I looked left and about had a heart attack when I saw one - so close - strobes on and with blueish

Pilot Steven Giordano (pictured) said: 'I looked left and about had a heart attack when I saw one - so close - strobes on and with blueish "glow strips" along the side of his fuselage'

It is believed two Eurofighter Typhoons taking off from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire were the source of the sonic boom. The boom could be heard as far south as Brighton

A sonic boom is a thunder-like noise a person on the ground hears when an aircraft or other type of aerospace vehicle flies overhead faster than the speed of sound. Two Eurofighter Typhoons are seen in this stock image

A sonic boom is a thunder-like noise a person on the ground hears when an aircraft or other type of aerospace vehicle flies overhead faster than the speed of sound. Two Eurofighter Typhoons are seen in this stock image

Giordano, a former airline pilot and US Marine Corps Reserve, said it took them about 10 minutes to realise there was an issue with the radio which started somewhere over Germany.

It then took another ten minutes for them to resolve the problem.

The Boeing was being flown across the Atlantic by Jet Test, a commercial aircraft ferrying company which moves planes from seller to buyer.  

Giordano, from New Jersey, praised how fast the RAF scrambled to his plane's location, telling the BBC: 'I applaud them for that.'

Thousands of people across the capital and the Home Counties were woken by what sounded like a 'large 'explosion' in early hours of Sunday. 

The bang was heard at about 4.20am, rocking homes, setting off car alarms and sparking panic.

The Metropolitan Police reassured people when it revealed the bang was caused by RAF planes which were scrambled to intercept an aeroplane flying over the city that lost communications with air traffic control. 

'The loud bang heard throughout north London and surrounding areas was the result of a sonic boom from RAF planes,' it tweeted. 'There is no cause for concern.'

The Metropolitan Police reassured people when it revealed the bang was caused by RAF planes

The Metropolitan Police reassured people when it revealed the bang was caused by RAF planes

Two Eurofighter Typhoons taking off from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire were the source of the sonic boom. 

An RAF spokesman said: 'Typhoon aircraft from RAF Coningsby were scrambled this morning, as part of the UK's Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) procedures, after an aircraft lost communications in UK airspace. 

'The aircraft was intercepted and its communications were subsequently re-established.

'The Typhoons are returning to their base.' 

According to technologist Alp Toker, a Boeing 767-300 from Tel Aviv lost contact with air traffic control at 3.50am, and 10 minutes later at 4am, RAF Coningsby scrambled Typhoons to meet it.

The sonic boom was heard at 4.18am, and at 4.20am the plane safely passed central London and continued its journey. 

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