Community Post

Did anyone else here the gigantic BANG at 2:25pm today?

The Blue Angels were flying and for the 1st time in 30 years of living here I thought maybe there was a crash-a BOOM so severe that pictures flew off my wall.  It was probably a sonic boom but I have never heard anything like this before.  Did they lower the route again?

0 thoughts on “Did anyone else here the gigantic BANG at 2:25pm today?

  1. We definitely felt it at CDNews World HQ. Like a big thud, the whole house shook. But there was no sound of boom to go along with it…

  2. I definitely heard and felt it here on First Hill – it was super loud – I jumped a little and I’ve been ignoring the Blue Angels for two days. I feel sorry for dogs today.

  3. Felt and heard it at !9th and Aloha, was afraid the glass in the windows was going to break. I jumped a little and the dog freaked out. Same as the poster, living here my whole life and never experienced this from the Blue Angels.

  4. Because there are low clouds, they are flying much lower than usual. I suspect that cloud density is also altering how we are hearing/feeling the sonic boom generated by their engine thrusters.

  5. Yes, I heard it all the way up here in Green Lake! It wasn’t loud enough to shake the walls/windows, but it was loud enough for me wait for the sound of sirens heading to a car crash. Sirens never materialized…

  6. Very loud here – I held my breath fearing a crash, but no sirens, smoke, or other scary follow-up

  7. We were actually watching- it wasn’t one of the Blue Angels, but another errr..jet, or whatever. It hit right over our head –we were on Leschi beach. The plane came toward the beach very very fast, and just as it was turning (low low and against the beach line) it hit.

    My right ear drum hurts. bad. But it was pretty much the coolest thing we’ve ever seen!

  8. I believe it was a sonic boom, which is illegal according to the FAA, was generated by the Seafair airshow today at approximately 1:22 pm over the north Leschi neighborhood.

    Although the FAA did confirm to me that it is illegal, the investigator I spoke with, Albert Aktins, told me he was given clear direction that all noise complaints about SeaFair should be lodged with the SeaFair comment line. He refused to take a report, even acknowledging that a sonic boom is a violation of aviation law.

    I had previously called the SPD who informed me that sonic booms do not violate city noise ordinances. I also called the City of Seattle customer service line, who informed me that in-air aircraft violations was not in the city’s jurisdiction. It was the city that directed me to the FAA.

    I have lived under the airshow for over 10 years and have never experienced this. When the boom occurred, I thought a plane had crashed nearby. I heard the timbers of my house cracking and windows rattled and things fell (fortunately, nothing broke).

    I find it frustrating and suspect that all complaints about a violation of aviation law should be directed back to the violator by the enforcing agency. Somehow I don’t think SeaFair is going to turn itself in and request that the FAA impose a fine or flight path review.

    I suggest:

    Call the FAA national # to complain: 1-866-TELL-FAA (1-866-835-5322)
    Call the SeaFair Comment line to complain: 206 728 0123 x 853
    Email news tips to Seattle Times to share your experience: [email protected] . I emailed them and got a call. They are going to report on it.

  9. Yes, it is illegal, however, I don’t think it was done purposefully. Conditions were very different today then yesterday, and that can change when a sonic boom happens. The strange thing is, the wall of houses with huge windows along Leschi didn’t shatter. Which makes me wonder if it just ‘glanced’ boom status or something?

    This is only a once a year event. One that I (liberal, anti war, etc etc) love. Maybe it just takes me back to my childhood, but it’s something I look forward to. :)

  10. We were watching it at Leschi. It was the Navy F18. You could see the shockwaves forming. It was pretty incredible. I vote for more sonic booms!!! Seafair should be full of them.

    Once in a lifetime experience, I hope they aren’t too hard on that poor pilot.

    The rest of you, quit complaining. Even right under the blast it wasn’t as bad as a heavy thunderclap…

  11. Humans can create small sonic booms with a bullwhip. If you could hear in Capitol Hill, may be a subliminal suggestion for Sonic Boom records.

  12. Navy F18. Perfect! Thanks “Awesome-o”. My kids are still talking about it. I used to hear them as a kid, and I’m glad they got to experience it. Right after it happened (and I told my 10 year old daughter it was ok..she was a little freaked out!) I turned to my friend and said “that Pilot is going to get reemed”. And the shockwaves…YES! I’ve never seen anything like it. It was completely incredible!

  13. Back in the early 1990s (probably ’92 or ’93) I was watching the Blue Angels on Seafair Sunday at Lakewood Moorage where we kept our boat (on Lk Wa Blvd a little north of Seward Park). They had a nice private beach there. Anyway, we experienced a sonic boom directly overhead from one of the jets (it was a perfect day – in the 80s). Everyone looked at each other in shock n awe after feeling & hearing such an explosive sound out of thin air. On a side note, my friends who had rowed a boat out on the water not that far from us didn’t hear it at all & had no idea it had happened.

    It seems like the following year the Blue Angels didn’t come to Seattle and they had those gentle (boring) Canadian Snow Birds instead. I always thought the sonic boom was part of the reason.

  14. Pilot won’t hear it – he’s in ahead of the shockwave… or are you referring to the FAA/Seafair/city?

  15. intentional or not it was frightening for us and I am so sick of this. If people love the BAs so much why don’t we have an airshow, somewhere else, like Ft. Lewis, not over our houses.

  16. It only happens once a year. For an hour each day. What is there to be sick of? That’s part of the fun to me (and our family)…them flying right over our house! Our dogs don’t even mind (we put on a loud fan and the TV while we’re gone). I get much more annoyed by all the low flying passenger planes and cargo planes over my house every single day, all day long.

  17. The vapor around the jets as they travel very fast is not a sonic boom, it’s simply vapor forming in slow pressure areas around the aircraft, which is caused by their high rate of speed:
    See this around a jet doesn’t mean its traveling faster than sound, nor does breaking the sound barrier guarantee that you’ll see it.

    That said, our friends at Myth Busters showed that a sonic boom does not = broken glass everywhere:

    On the other hand, this CBC report from 1969 seems to indicate its quite possible to inflict damage from a sonic boom:

    If you put the two together one might conclude that the Blue Angels breaking the sound barrier for a short time during a show is not unheard of and that widespread window destruction wouldn’t necessarily result.

    Sorry I missed it!

  18. I happened to be home, and it DID sound like a sonic boom. Was totally not expecting that because I know they’re not allowed in populated areas, but it was still kind of cool (the cats were hiding, it’s not that different from a thunderstorm) and I’ve never heard one in the 18 years I have had my house buzzed by the Blue Angels every August.
    I grew up in Moses Lake when Larson Air Force Base was still operating somewhat in the early/mid 60’s. Sonic booms were a part of daily life there. No windows broke (although they definitely did shake), nothing fell off shelves….teachers in school paused, and went on. I personally think they’re cool (and I too am a total peacenik, but for some reason I love the noise. Go figure.)
    To create a sonic boom the plane must be traveling at least 750 miles per hour….seems crazy to go that fast that close to the ground in a populated area….actually….now that I looked into it.

  19. I live in a small apt bldg in Madison Valley & I thought a car had crashed into the building. I didn’t know what had happened until I made sure the previous belief was false & then looked online.

  20. I was cleaning my basement when I heard a loud boom… for a second, I thought that someone had kicked in my front door. However, I then heard a jet passing close overhead (area near Garfield Community Center). I wondered if it was a sonic boom, but didn’t think that it was possible at the speeds the jets are flying overhead. Of course, I didn’t actually see the jet, and I have no idea what it takes in terms of speedconditionenvironment for a sonic boom to occur, but I just figured it was not a sonic boom.

    That said, I am really pleased to learn that it was a sonic boom. How cool is that?! I would love for another to occur. It reminds me of the loud explosions generated on the 4th of July by those fireworks that generate a white flash… I love those. I don’t know why, but the noise is so exciting.

  21. Wheelson, that Mythbusters video you linked does in fact show a window breaking during a supersonic pass at 200ft; So if one of the pilots screws up while circling Capitol Hill they certainly could break windows.

    Fast jets are exciting to a great many people, but that doesn’t justify an military airshow over a populated area with a significant number of people who are alarmed, annoyed or traumatized by the low flying fighter aircraft. The risk of crashes is also not insignificant: Although the pilots are well trained they are only human and the margin of error is extremely low. Let them loop and turn over Lake Washington, but they should keep their aerial stunts away from people’s homes.

  22. We have a lot of people with time on their hands who seem to like to complain and see the glass as half full. I bet half of the people do not know what a sonic boom is or how created. Go check ’em out on YouTube.

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  24. One of the booms today broke a window in our dining room in Leschi. Glass everywhere – inside and outside. Luckily we were watching the show from a nearby park.

  25. Karen, You may want to report it to the police. When I called them yesterday, trying to track down the enforcing agency regarding the air show noise level, they said the sound issue was the FAA’s jurisdiction, but that if there was any damage they would respond and take a report. It’s always good for insurance purposes, if nothing else… but I think documenting the damage those booms are creating is important.

  26. I’m in Montlake and there were 2 distinct booms way up North here.

    I’m wondering how much the weather contributed. Could the heavier air today lower the speed of sound? Also, given that the show was foreshortened, I wonder if they were trying to do some show-off stunt so folks didn’t feel shortchanged.

    Still, I hate the booms – I’ve learned many years ago to put up with the roar. They’re not the same thing.

  27. I live in Montlake as well and also heard the two booms. Thought my windows might break. Unnerving but cool to see them so low.

  28. Thursday, on Capitol Hill. covered it, and I certainly heard it.

    And all the pets in my building are traumatized by this, year in and year out. All so some troglodytes can say “it goed boom real good”. Thanks for that.

  29. If you were not there then it is tough to say what broke the window. Most people would just report to police and file an insurance claim. Why are you calling K5? Let me guess, you want a reality show.

  30. @Karen, MJ has a point, but my guess is that you found no stone or branch or other projectile in the room with the glass? No dead bird outside? It also looks like that is not a ground floor window that could be broken with a bat, etc. or would be a target window for burglars. Or am I wrong?

    @MJ, I am guessing that you may not live in the ‘hood (eg: Leschi near the water) and know from experience how plausible a shockwave-induced window break might be from these booms. Or, am I wrong? Living here, and fearing for my own windows, I tend to give credence to Karen’s theory.

  31. I live in Madrona and am a mother of a three year old whom was scared of the noise and wouldn’t take her normal nap as she thought she was going to get hurt. She was trying to hide, screaming for it to stop, very distressed. This is not something a 3 year old should have to experience or feel esp. being so little.

    Not to mention the sonic boom shook the house causing more fear, this poor girl didn’t know what was going on nor understood.

    Is it really fair or even nice to have them experience this? What about children with special needs, I wonder how they take it?

    They need to find some place away from residential homes.

  32. You whiny people! Its 4 days a year of your boring little “perfect” lives with a little jet noise. If you people were involved with anything besides your couch and remote you would of seen a good show. Ever see a f-18 break the sound barrier in person? Obviously not. Was very cool for the thousands of boats and people watching from shore!

  33. I call BULL SH*T! You didnt loose a window from a sonic boom! You werent home! So how do you know. Why ruin it for everybody that enjoyed it! Enough complain and they wont come back and it is a seafair tradition that has been going on for years! $ total hours of jet noise to much……go move to montana so you can live in the woods with no noise!

  34. Why dont you get out a little. Go down to shore and show your daughter the show! Would probably have a great time with no fear!

  35. I find it odd that a homeowner comes home and finds the window broken and then calls K5 news without calling experts to investigate. Also, I live by the water & Blue Angels and welcome the activity. The noise that I find concerning is when cars drive by and blast their music since it is more than once a year. I saw 3 year olds playing at the Lego station and they were having fun!

  36. Yes…definitely a sonic boom yesterday, and two slightly smaller ones today. We’ve been in Madison Valley since 1993 & never felt anything quite like it. Very explosive & abrupt; not just the noise but the vibration! Having said that, I love the Blue Angels. My dad was a fighter pilot back in the day & I can never resist running outside for a glimpse of the spectacular–when I don’t make it down to the lake to watch at close range.

  37. If you were at the beach, how do you know the sonic boom broke your window? You dont. You presume it did and it is reasonable to assume such. However did it occur to you someone might have been trying to break in? Perhaps the noise was used to camouflage a break in. Not uncommon. Not probable, but just as possible as the sonic boom.

  38. If you were at the beach, how do you know the sonic boom broke your window? You dont. You presume it did and it is reasonable to assume such. However did it occur to you someone might have been trying to break in? Perhaps the noise was used to camouflage a break in? I am not saying this happened, I am saying it is more probable than a sonic boom breaking her window and no one else’s nearby?

    On top of this you are the only one reporting such, you called King5 News, the Police, FAA. I get the feeling there is more to YOUR story than we will know.

  39. Since we do not know exactly when or how the window broke…why call King5 about the broken window? I know of people who live near Seafair venues whose homes were getting cased yesterday. Maybe someone saw you leave your home. There is now a tax credit to replace windows so just get it replaced – apply for a tax credit for the 1 part of your window that broke.

  40. To all of the upset people out there – having grown up here, hearing them all the time as a child before it was banned, I really think you should “not sweat the small stuff!!” They never broke our ear drums, never scared me as a child, was NOT a big deal!
    Now, getting to only feel it – living a little bit north, I was bummed not to experience it! All of you who did, may be your last time in Seattle!!

  41. You will be glad to know we (pro or con) have all imagined this. The huge thud I experienced Friday in my house that caused the pictures to fall down on my walls and all of my neighbors run out in the street to see if a plane/car had crashed into our homes did not occur. This is per Seafair spokesman Dan Wartelle who said “only WW II prop planes were flying at that time and they couldn’t have caused a sonic boom. he said the noise could have seemed louder because it was reverberating from the low cloud cover.”(per Saturday Seattle Times).

    For the first time in 30 years of living here there is now a new element for me, fear.

  42. Kittens,

    For the record, I’m pretty sure Fridays explosion was actually at 1:22. And the rest were in the 1:00 hour as well… all during the f18 performances… not the prop plane show.

  43. I was photographing a wedding in the Arboretum and heard two loud sonic booms after 1pm. Did nobody get this in video???

  44. I would have to say, when the Blue Angels do come to town, I don’t feel I should have to take my children another place, because they are sensitive to sound and are a resident (THE BLUE ANGELS ARE NOT). I have lived here longer than they have been flying over my residential area. It never used to be like that, they need to have this at the Base and not over residential area.

    On Sunday they where only inches above Franklin High School, they shouldn’t be allowed to fly that low.

    I also had the house shaking as a result, the house, thats something that should only shake during an earth quake, not the Blue Angels.

  45. Quit your crying. They’ve been flying here before you lived in your overpriced little shack.

  46. 8/17/2010 – 1:50PM TO 2:00 PM
    We just felt what very well could have been “Sonic Boom(s)”….in Lewis County..
    We experience them often…but this time they were more intense..somehow
    Also there was two in consecutive order..instead of one
    These seemed somewhat different though…
    Same shaking…our house felt like a semi hit it (X’s 2)
    Same loud boom…”twice”
    But there was no “high pitched ear piercing whiz” above our heads before or after the “booms” this time..
    more like a “distant low pitched vacuum”

    Usually we also have visual sightings of them naughty fly boys in action…:)

    No Sightings of know this time…

  47. get a life, people. its 4 days out of the year and it brings the entire city together, minus you lot of whiners