A takeoff from an air force base in Florida had to be aborted - after the jet hit a fish!
The Gulfstream G-IV jet from NOAA hit what the crew thought was an osprey on the runway as it was about to take off, but when MacDill Air Force Base wildlife manager Lindsey Garven went to search for the remains of the bird she found a Sheepshead fish (Archosargus probatocephalus) measuring around 22.5cm/9" in length, lying near the end of the runway.
DNA samples were taken from the jet and sent to the Smithsonian Identification Laboratory in Washington, D.C, along with the specimen. It was later confirmed that the DNA did indeed belong to the fish!
"At first, we didn’t believe the test results," NOAA pilot Lt. Cmdr. Nicholas Toth said in a report on the Air Mobility Command website. "There was no way we hit a fish during takeoff. I mean, how does something like that even happen?"
It's thought that a bird, possibly a juvenile bald eagle, may have been eating the fish on the edge of the runway and as it saw the jet approaching it flew off, having to drop its catch to avoid being hit by the plane itself.
This is the first recorded 'fish strike' in the history of NOAA at MacDill and is being referred to by personnel at the base as 'fishnado'. The plane wasn't damaged in the incident.
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