The latest aviation threat: fish




A Smithsonian lab has determined that the animal that hit Lt. Cmdr. Nick Toth's plane as it was preparing for takeoff last September at Tampa's MacDill Air Force Base was not, in fact, an osprey as originally believed, but a nine-inch sheepshead the osprey was carrying in its mouth (and dropped) as the bird realized it was in the path of the jet.

The plane sustained minimal damage, which is lucky considering that sheepshead are the fish who have several rows of blocky teeth they use to crush up prey and freak out humans. Cleared of all charges, the osprey told reporters gathered around his nest this morning that he now hopes to return to normal life and put this ugly incident behind him.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.