My beloved Spoetjik Kijker (Sputnik Watcher) became an F16 Kijker this morning. Around 10:30 this morning, I’m sure many people’s heads suddenly turned to the sky when they heard a loud noise up above. Even inside the house, I was startled by the loud, growling noise outside. It eventually became clear that it was a jet, but it certainly sounded different than the usual jet. We also don’t usually hear normal jets in the city center. Helicopters, sure, but not jets!
It sounded disturbingly close and I had a moment of panic wondering if it was too late to move to safer ground, as visions of crashing planes filled my mind. It soon passed, but then was followed by another. G was upstairs and went outside to look. He was the one who confirmed it was a military jet. I checked Twitter, of course, and saw that a few other people had posted in surprise about the unexpected appearance and very loud noise.
After surely many requests for information as to what was going on, the air force responded by saying that the two F16 jets were doing a reconnaissance flight and were taking urban photos as part of the exercise. There were some complaints as to how low the planes were flying, I think, but while I think the legal limit as to how low the planes can fly is an altitude of 360 meters, these jets were flying at 450, so they were well within the legal limits.
At least there were no sonic booms! I remember quite a few of those as I was growing up in Orlando. I think we were close enough to various military groups and plane-related companies that the occasional sonic boom wasn’t unheard of. When the boom went, I jumped as did everything sitting on my dresser!