You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Thunderbird sonic boom caused $22K in damages

Dec. 19, 2012 - 12:37PM   |   Last Updated: Dec. 19, 2012 - 12:37PM  |  
  • Filed Under

A Thunderbird pilot from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., who was practicing for a weekend air show over downtown Tucson on the afternoon of April 13 created a sonic boom that shattered windows when he surpassed the speed of sound for several seconds.

Damage to Tucson homes and businesses came to more than $22,000, according to a command-directed investigation posted Dec. 8 on the Air Force Freedom of Information Act website. The Air Force settled about 47 claims ranging from $30 to several thousand dollars apiece.

The investigation attributed the boom to pilot error. Following a series of turns, rolls, descents and accents, the pilot, whose named was redacted from the report, tried to rejoin another aircraft. "Task saturated," the report says, the pilot "failed to adequately crosscheck" his air speed and reduce power.

"There is an audible ‘oh crap' in [the pilot's] intercom at the time he recognizes his mistake," the investigation says.

The boom that followed on that Friday afternoon shook buildings, broke glass and triggered a flurry of 911 calls about 90 of them beginning at 2:25 p.m., a news release from the local police department said at the time. Some callers reported an explosion. Others referred to it as a sonic boom.

Base officials immediately took responsibility for the ruckus and asked people with property damage to report it to them. A Davis-Monthan news release at the time said the sonic boom was rare.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Air Force Times

This Week's Air Force Times

CrossFit vs. unit PT
Troops will do the training plans in a $2.5 million study

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook