Latvian Plane Escorted Into Stansted By RAF

Typhoon fighter jets have escorted a Russian-built cargo plane into Stansted Airport.

The Antonov aircraft, which is Latvian operated, is now safely on the ground at the Essex terminal, which is the designated major incident airport for south east England.

Stansted says the airport is open and operating as usual.

Earlier, the sonic boom created by the jets was heard across a large part of Essex, Hertfordshire and Kent, with police attributing it to 'RAF activity'.

A RAF spokesperson said: "Typhoon aircraft were launched this afternoon from RAF Coningsby to intercept a civilian aircraft south of London which was causing concern to air traffic control authorities.

The aircraft was safely escorted to London Stansted. To fulfill their quick reaction role the Typhoons were cleared to travel at supersonic speed, any noise disturbance as a result of this is regretted.

Essex Police now have the lead. "Military jets were deployed on a precautionary basis when a Lithuian registered cargo plane was diverted to Stansted.

This was due to a loss of communication with the aircraft.

The aircraft landed safely at Stansted airport at around 5.20pm.

All three people who were on board have been spoken to by police, it was established that everything was in order and reason for the short loss of communication was due to a change in airspace jurisdiction.

Essex Police is not investigating the incident and the aircraft will be able to continue its journey to Birmingham when it is ready."

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