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Sonic Boom Heard in Seattle

Two Air National Guard F-15s out of Portland International Airport went supersonic over the continental U.S. Tuesday, and the sonic booms were caught on local videos. The jets had been dispatched by NORAD. They had been granted permission to go supersonic to intercept an aircraft that was wandering near airspace that had been temporarily restricted during a Presidential visit to the region. The first video was shot in Seattle by a local news crew; the second, apparently by a local mother.

The booms shocked many local residents who flooded 911 facilities with calls. The pilot of the small plane, a Cessna 180 on floats, was not met by the jets in the air but by Secret Service agents on the ground. Pilots are responsible for checking for temporary flight restrictions, but the restrictions are often posted with little notice in order to obscure the President's schedule. The FAA will determine what, if any, penalties the Cessna pilot will face.