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NORAD fighters cause 'sonic boom'

Posted at 7:27 PM, Feb 17, 2017
and last updated 2019-03-26 06:31:20-04

No emergency.The loud boom heard in Weston and nearby cities came from a pair of Air Force F-15s that were dispatched from Homestead to intercept an unresponsive general aviation aircraft near Palm Beach County, according to the North American Aerospace Defense Command

Broward Sheriff's Office said in a tweet the planes likely broke sound barrier.

Residents were asked not to call 911 about the noise.

NORAD issued the following release: 

A pair of Air Force F-15s, under the direction of North American Aerospace Defense Command, intercepted an unresponsive general aviation aircraft near the Palm Beach, Fla., area at approximately 7 p.m. EST.

The intercept required the Air Force F-15s from Homestead Air Reserve Base to travel at supersonic speeds, a sound noticed by area residents, to get to the general aviation aircraft where they were able to establish
communications.  

The intent of military intercepts is to have the identified aircraft re-establish communications with local FAA air traffic controllers and instruct the pilot to follow air traffic controllers' instructions to land safely for follow-on action.

NORAD's mission - in close collaboration with homeland defense, security, and law enforcement partners - is to prevent air attacks against North America, safeguard the sovereign airspaces of the United States and Canada by responding to unknown, unwanted and unauthorized air activity approaching and operating within these airspaces, and provide aerospace and maritime warning for North America. NORAD may be required to monitor, shadow, divert from flight path, direct to land and/or destroy platforms deemed a potential threat to North America.

NORAD is the bi-national Canadian and American command that is responsible for the air defense of North America and maritime warning. The command has three subordinate regional headquarters: the Alaskan NORAD Region at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska; the Canadian NORAD Region at Winnipeg, Manitoba; and the Continental NORAD Region at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.

The command is poised both tactically and strategically in our nation's capital to provide a multilayered defense to detect, deter and prevent potential threats flying over the airspace of the United States and Canada.