On June 30, 2000, about 1300 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 402C, N7037E, registered to Hyannis Air Service, and operated by Cape Air, as a Title 14 CFR Part 135 scheduled domestic passenger commuter flight, from Key West, Florida, to Naples, Florida, experienced a bird strike during descent for a landing at Naples Municipal Airport. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The airline transport-rated pilot, and four passengers were not injured, but the airplane incurred substantial damage. The flight originated in Key West the same day, about 1215.

The pilot stated that he was at an altitude of 2,000 feet, had cancelled his instrument flight rules flight plan, and had visually sighted Naples Municipal Airport when the bird strike occurred. He further stated that just prior to the bird strike, Naples Air Traffic Control Tower had pointed out traffic to follow, and while he was looking for the traffic, he heard a loud noise, and felt the airplane shudder. The pilot said he queried his passengers, who all said they heard the noise and felt the airplane shudder, but they had not seen anything. The pilot said that he did a quick visual inspection, but could not locate any point of impact, and the aircraft was flying normally, so he continued to the airport and landed. After taxiing to parking, and shutting down the airplane, the pilot said that a large turkey buzzard had impacted the vertical stabilizer, and was embedded in the stabilizer at its junction with the dorsal fin.

A licensed aviation mechanic at a FAA approved repair station examined the aircraft, and verified that the vertical spar had been bent as a result of the bird strike.

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