Fighter jets seen ‘in dogfight’ over Grantham

American fighters were seen over Grantham this week, possibly F-15s like this one.
American fighters were seen over Grantham this week, possibly F-15s like this one.
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Military jets have been seen over Grantham this week with two apparently flying in a mock dogfight over the town.

The jets, believed to be American fighters, were seen over Grantham yesterday morning and this morning.

Two jets were seen manoeuvring with each other a few thousand feet over the town yesterday. One witness, Denzil Ison, a weapons engineer from Grantham, said he believed the fighters were American F-15s.

Mr Ison first saw them at about 8.30am and said he was concerned that they were so low over the town. He said: “They appeared to be dogfighting. They were using their full afterburners which normally you cannot see in daylight. They started over the Prince William of Gloucester barracks at about 15,000 feet before separating and then going over the Harlaxton/Barrowby area.

Mr Ison, who used to work for Bmarc, said: “I was stood outside St Peter’s Hill surgery when they started more intensive manoeuvres. I would say that they dropped to about 6,000ft. They are not supposed to do that over built-up areas as far as I am aware.”

Mr Ison said he saw the planes ‘pointing their noses at each other’ as if they were practising dogfighting. He added: “For people who are not used to this it could put the wind up them. I was very surprised to see it happen over the town.”

A member of staff at Grantham Hospital, who asked not to be named, said the activity in the skies above Grantham yesterday was “the talk of the hospital”.

He said: “There was lots of commotion and lots of discussion about it. Where I live, near Boston, there are often Typhoons practising, playing cat and mouse, from RAF Coningsby. There’s an awful lot of activity here now. We get used to it, but it has increased.”

A Ministry of Defence spokesman told the Journal that no special exercises were happening as a result of the terrorist attacks in Paris and continued bombing in Syria.

He said: “The aircraft may appear to be manoeuvring hard, but they are trained to do that. Aircraft manoeuvres are performed to very strict rules. Witnesses may have misinterpreted what they saw and they were flying in formation with each other.

“We seek to avoid military interference with civilian populations and that goes for the Americans as well.”

The spokesman said military aircraft can fly as low as 250 feet but low flying over built-up areas was normally over 2,000 feet.