Sonic booms heard as Swiss Air Force scrambles to intercept plane

Sonic booms heard as Swiss Air Force scrambles to intercept plane

On Sunday, two fighter jets from the Swiss Air Force were scrambled to intercept a private plane that had lost contact with the ground. Authorities declared that the operation was a “hot mission”, meaning several sonic booms were heard across the country.

Swiss Air Force scramble to intercept Dutch plane

According to a statement by the Swiss armed forces, given to 20 minuten, at 10.41am on September 25, the Swiss Air Force was informed by French authorities that a private plane had lost radio contact with the ground and was headed towards Switzerland. The plane - a Swiss-made Pilatus PC-12 - had flown from an airport in the Netherlands and was going to cross the Rhine River near Koblenz.

As there was no radio contact with the plane, and it had deviated from its planned route, the Chief of Air Defence in Dübendorf, Canton Zurich, ordered a “Quick Reaction Alert” patrol. At 11am, two F /  A-18 fighter jets took off from Payerne, Canton Vaud with orders to intercept the plane.

Several sonic booms heard over Swiss cantons

Authorities confirmed that the mission was “hot”, meaning they were allowed to intercept the plane at maximum speed. As a result, several sonic booms were heard across Canton Bern, Vaud and in the Swiss mountains.

The fighter jets managed to intercept the plane above the ski resort of St. Moritz. Faced with two heavily armed fighter jets, the plane quickly re-established contact with the ground and was escorted to Italian airspace just west of Lake Garda. The fighter jets landed back in Payerne 49 minutes after the operation began.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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