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'Fish strike' stops jet's takeoff at Florida base

March 5, 2014
Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — "Bird strikes" are a familiar hazard for aircraft. Authorities at a Tampa Bay-area military base say they've recorded something new: a "fish strike."

MacDill Air Force Base officials say a jet flown by a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration pilot was struck by a sheepshead during takeoff in September.

Officials say the jet was just about to get off the ground when an osprey with something in its claws flew in front of it.

The Gulfstream GIV crew heard a thud and aborted takeoff, assuming they had hit the bird.

Instead of bird remains on the runway, inspectors found a fish.

The fish and DNA from the aircraft were sent to the Smithsonian Feather Identification Laboratory for analysis. Researchers concluded that the jet did strike the sheepshead during takeoff.



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