South Florida residents heard a sonic boom Friday from two Air Force F-15’s that had been scrambled to intercept an ‘unresponsive’ civilian aircraft in the Palm Beach area. It is 100 miles from Homestead Air Reserve Base, where the F-15’s are based to Palm Beach and Mar-a-lago.
The jets flew at supersonic speeds and residents were startled by the loud boom, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, NORAD, said in a statement. The two fighters were able to establish communication with the aircraft. This incident occurred at about 7 p.m. ET. No further details were immediately available.
“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,” the statement read. – Fox News
Homestead Air Reserve Base is home to the Air Force’s 482d Fighter Wing. The 482nd is a full combat-ready unit that has more than 1,500 members (mostly reservists) and is capable of deployment around the world on short notice.
Homestead was originally established in 1942 as an Army Air Field and then was redesignated Homestead Air Force Base in 1955. In 1992, category five Hurricane Andrew destroyed the base but it was rebuilt and reopened as an Air Reserve Facility in 1994.
Photo of F-15 on the ramp by US Air Force