A sonic boom that rattled the Jersey Shore Thursday afternoon was caused by test flights of U.S. Navy F-35 fighter jets in an area off the New Jersey coast, which stretches north to a point offshore of Barnegat Inlet, reports said.
NBC Philadelphia reported that the Naval Test Wing Atlantic, based out of Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., was conducting tests of the aircraft Thursday in a designated offshore test area which stretches from Ocean County down the Delaware coastline.
Specifically, the NBC report said the F-35C variant of the aircraft, known as the Joint Strike Fighter, caused several sonic booms that were heard and felt across southern New Jersey, and apparently as far away as Long Island, N.Y. In Brick Township, residents reported their windows and doors rattling. In Lavallette, residents told Shorebeat that their pets were scared by the rumbling and loud sound that the “booms” produced.
A sonic boom is created by an object traveling through the air faster than the speed of sound, such as a supersonic jet. Since the object is traveling faster that the speed of sound, sound waves get compressed when they cannot disperse fast enough, causing an explosion-like sound and resulting rumbling effect.
Reports were surfacing that some homes may have been damaged by the sonic boom, including minor cracks to a residential wall in Barnegat Township.