Jittery Utahns mistake ‘boom’ for quake; Hill Air Force Base says ‘relax’

Jets cause sonic booms over N. Utah
F-35A Lightning II aircraft sit on the flight line during an exercise at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Jan. 6, 2020. Photo: U.S.A.F/ R. Nial Bradshaw

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Oct. 27, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Windows shook and nerves were rattled across parts of northern Utah Tuesday, as folks already feeling a tad jittery by this year’s 5.7 magnitude Magna quake — and its 2,000 aftershocks — thought it was deja vu, all over again.

It turns out the boom and shaking had nothing to do with sliding terrestrial plates, but was probably caused by a jet fighter out of Hill Air Force Base.

“The boom heard across the Wasatch Front at approximately 11:30 a.m. was likely the result of a sonic boom that happened during aerial combat training on the range,” according to a statement by the 388th Fighter Wing.

“Pilots are authorized to fly at supersonic speeds in certain sections of the range’s airspace and do so frequently,” the statement said.

“Typically, the resulting noise is not heard along the Wasatch Front, but occasionally the noise travels based on weather and atmospheric conditions.”

Hill AFB is home to the 388th and the Reserve 419th Fighter Wings, both of which train extensively to maintain combat readiness.

The 388th and 419th are U.S. Air Force’s first combat capable F-35A wings and have been deployed in combat three times in the past 16 months.

Photo: U.S.A.F.

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