Sonic booms felt across Seattle

Updated 3:45 p.m. Did you hear those big booms just before 2 p.m.? “I may be crazy, but our building just shook sideways,” says Dan from Shilshole. “Everyone ran outside, as we thought someone drove into our building.”

The FAA says it was sonic booms from two military F-15 jets that scrambled from Portland after Presidential airspace was breached by a small aircraft, reports KING 5. President Obama is visiting Seattle today. According to our news partner, The Seattle Times, the pilot of a seaplane landed at Kenmore Air on Lake Union unaware of the flight restriction. A passenger on the plane tells the Associated Press that they were flying in from Lake Chelan.

“I’m on the 47th floor of Columbia Center in downtown Seattle,” wrote Kristen on My Ballard’s Facebook page. “We really felt the explosion here and for a moment thought something struck the building. Still feeling a bit shaken up.”

The booms were heard across Seattle, but especially in West Seattle and down in Pierce County — many residents there were shaken enough to call 911. West Seattle Blog, which briefly crashed under the deluge of traffic, reports that 911 lines were jammed with all the callers.

Twitter lit up seconds after the booms with people asking what happened. “Heard really loud shots in ballard…rattled all our windows…then heard buncha planes…anyone know what’s going on?” asked @mangopowergirl. You can see many of the tweets under the hashtag #waboom.

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

49 thoughts to “Sonic booms felt across Seattle”

  1. Shook my house in Federal Way as well. I thought a tree fell on our house. We went outside just in time to hear the second boom. My sister was talking to her co-worker on the south side of Federal way and her co-worker heard the boom first right before my sister did. It scared my kids but they thought it was cool when they learned it was a plane. Wish I did.

  2. Was looking out the window on 10th floor in a downtown building waiting for the Obama motorcade when I heard/felt it and saw reflections of other buildings shake. But I just thought it was construction. Hope someone got some video of the F-15s

  3. I thought it was strange to have fireworks going off during the day!

    Also, according to the Seattle Times, the planes were F16s rather than F18s, which makes sense, as F18s are Navy planes normally flown off aircraft carriers, while the F16s are Air Force or Air National Guard.

  4. I noticed a commercial plane doing a high banked turn towards the northwest right after the boom maybe that had something to do with it.

  5. Wow–glad to know what that was. We have construction going on on our street (28th) and thought there was some sort of construction mishap or something flew against the side of our house. That is pretty powerful, a sonic boom.

  6. Wow, heard them loud and clear in Ballard, felt the house shake, and my first thought after “What the heck was that?” was “I bet MyBallard will have the answer!” Thanks!

  7. an aircraft violated airspace, so they say. and was gone before the jets got their. they 1st said the booms was to scare the pilot. what a load of crap. I'm a vet. and that is no where in protocol. yeah, lets scare a pilot with booms. while he is over a populated area. think about it. Some jackass thought it would be cool cause Obama is in town. but we will never know that.

  8. I am probably dating myself but I remember growing up in Seattle in the 60″s (late but yes still the 60″s) hearing sonics booms all the time.

    Was that a function of the “new” airplanes out of Beoing or just the trick of memory – heard one or two at Grandpa's when I was little and the memory is larger than the actual events were?

    But I still maintain JP Patches came down our street on my 4th birthday and gave me a balloon – that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

  9. My 8yr old son and I were walking out from our house to the car in Onalaska, Washington and thought we were being bombed! Screamed and ran into the house and the house was shaking! That is some Sonic boom that can be felt and heard from Onalaska to Seattle!!

  10. The pilot responsible for the intrusion in the TFR was Charles Lee Daily of Redmond. Thanks to the FAA publishing all Airman info online, you can look him up. If you sustained any damage, I recommend contacting him and asking for him to cover such damages or inconveniences.

    His address is:
    Street 8504 192ND AVE NE
    City REDMOND State WA
    County KING Zip Code 98053-9415
    Country USA
    His phone number is:
    (425) 836-0123 and (206) 682-5735

    He got his pilot (land/sea) certificate in June of 2010. What a good way to waste it so soon!

  11. I also remember sonic booms when I was a kid in Seattle. I don't think it is so much that the planes are different as that there are many more restrictions now on flying at supersonic speeds over populated areas now (due to the booms). Can't validate the JP memory, though could tell you about walking to the locks at age 3 to meet “Mr. Shepard” of Mercury fame (something I dreamed up in my 3 year old mind).

  12. It's not actually a single boom heard over a wide area so much as a path of boom that follows the path of the plane. What you are hearing is the shock wave that builds up in front of the plane as it flies at supersonic speed. The shock wave passes over you as the plane flies over you. (Layman's explanation, to the extent I have it a bit off.)

  13. We are on Market Street and it sounded like somebody dropped something VERY large on the roof- went up there and no one there! Interesting to find out it was a sonic boom. My father worked for Boeing and we lived in Barstow, CA, in the mid-sixties when he was working at Goldstone Tracking Station for the Lunar Orbiter project. We heard sonic booms all the time from Edwards Air Force Base that rattled the windows. You'd think I'd recognize the sound, but it really fooled me. Brought back memories, though!

  14. Heard and felt that.

    Was going to get a ladder out of the garage to check the roof.

    Sounded like someone was stomping around up there.

Leave a Reply