When sailors Jeremy Smith and Tony McJonston aboard the USS Harry S. Truman were collecting Foreign Object Debris (FOD) in the cockpit of a fighter jet, they found something quite unexpected: a cute little screech owl!
Gorman and the flight deck Medical team nursed the owl, or “FOD” as Flight Deck Control liked to call him, back to health. One of Smith’s main jobs is to collect FOD from inside the cockpit of the airplanes,
which is why the bird was caught instead of scared away.
“The main reason I grabbed it instead of shooing it away was that I was afraid it would fly into the cockpit of another jet,” said Smith.
If the bird had stayed hidden in the cockpit, then panicked during take off, it may have caused a serious problem for the pilot. “If this owl was hiding in a cockpit while a jet was on the catapult. It could possibly bring a jet down if the pilot freaks out because an owl is flying around in his cockpit,” said Smith.