Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Aircraft forced to abort takeoff after crashing into fish
Crewmen swept the runway after ‘bird strike’ – only to find a fish out of water instead
A US pilot has spoken of his shock at having to abort takeoff because his plane crashed into a fish.
Lieutenant Commander Nick Toth’s Gulfstream IV jet was halfway down the runway when he and his aircrew spotted a large osprey flying in front of them.
The bird vanished underneath the plane and the crew, who work for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, heard a bang.
Yet when they aborted the takeoff and taxied back round to check the runway at the MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, all they could find was a nine inch-long sheepshead fish.
Lt Cmdr Toth told the airbase’s internal publication Inside MacDill AFB: “We were nearing the point in the takeoff where we needed to rotate, or raise the nose of the airplane off the ground, when an Osprey with something in its claws flew in front of our aircraft.
“We saw that the Osprey did not gain enough altitude, and that it passed underneath the centerline of the aircraft,” he said.
Wildlife management contractors arrived to investigate what was still being called a “bird strike”, and said they were “surprised” only to find the fish near the end of the runway.
A DNA sample was taken from the bloody mark on the plane where it was struck, and experts later confirmed that it was indeed the result of an impact with a fish.
“At first, we didn't believe the test results,” exclaimed Toth. “There was no way we hit a fish during takeoff. I mean, how does something like that even happen?”
The wildlife experts said it was likely the osprey had been resting on the runway while it ate the fish when it was spooked by the approaching jet. Struggling to get away, it dropped the prey – a natural reaction when challenged by a larger, more aggressive bird.
- 1 Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
- 2 Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
- 3 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
- 4 News agency criticised for describing Amal Clooney as 'actor's wife' in coverage of human rights trial
- 5 David De Gea to Real Madrid: Real finally get their man with £29m bid for Manchester United goalkeeper
Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Turkey duped the US, and Isis reaps rewards
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
£28000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company's mission is to ma...
£13832 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This 5 star leisure destination on the w...
£20000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Account Manager is requ...