The mystery of the loud boom that had people concerned, amused and guessing in Bengaluru on Wednesday has finally been solved with a late night admission from the Indian Air Force. The Ministry of Defence, Bengaluru said in a tweet that the loud sound that was heard in several parts of the city on Wednesday afternoon was caused by a “routine Indian Air Force test flight”, with a supersonic profile, taking off.
“It was a routine IAF Test Flight involving a supersonic profile which took off from Bluru Airport and flew in the allotted airspace well outside City limits. The aircraft was of Aircraft Systems and Testing Establishment (ASTE) whose Test Pilots & Flight Test Engineers routinely test out all aeroplanes. The sonic boom was probably heard while the aircraft was decelerating from supersonic to subsonic speed between 36,000 and 40,000 feet altitude,” the statement said.
The statement claimed that the aircraft which caused the sound was far away from Bengaluru city limits. “The sound of a sonic boom can be heard and felt by an observer even when the aircraft is flying as far away as 65 to 80 kilometres away from the person,” it said.
The thunderous ‘boom’ sound was heard by several residents in many parts of Bengaluru around 1.30 pm. The IAF Training Command had, in an earlier statement, denied that it was caused by a training sortie. However, the Training Command had confirmed that the aircraft could be flying under the IAF’s testing wing, ASTE, or by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
Sources at HAL had earlier hinted to TNM that a Sukhoi Su-30 aircraft of ASTE’s took flight from HAL at the time the boom was heard. ASTE uses HAL's grounds near Old Airport Road to test its aircrafts routinely. The Sukhoi Su-30MKI is an aircraft developed by Russia and is built under HAL’s license. It has the highest speed of 2,120 kmph, and can carry radars, missiles, bombs and rockets.