On November 20, 2001, about 0027 central standard time, a Boeing 727-233, N277FE, registered to and operated by Federal Express Corporation, as flight 2287, a 14 CFR Part 121 domestic cargo flight from Colorado Springs, Colorado, to Memphis, Tennessee, collided with a flock of birds while on approach to land at Memphis International Airport. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The airplane received substantial damage, and the airline transport-rated captain, first officer, flight engineer, and two passengers were not injured. The flight originated from Colorado Springs, on November 19, 2001, at 2247.

The flightcrew reported that while on final approach for runway 9 at Memphis, at between 1,700 and 2,000 feet agl., at 250 knots, they encountered a flock of large birds. A bird penetrated the airplane under the captains windshield and bird remains entered the cockpit. They continued to Memphis and landed without further incident.

Inspection of the airplane by an FAA inspector after landing showed damage to the area below the captain's windshield and two areas of damage on the right inboard wing area, due to bird strikes.

Radar data from the FAA, Memphis Air Route Traffic Control Center, showed the flight was at about position 35 degrees, 3 minutes, 34 seconds North latitude, and 90 degrees, 4 minutes, 59 seconds West longitude, or about 6 nautical miles west of Memphis International Airport, at the time of the encounter. The FAA, Memphis Approach Control, personnel stated that the Automatic Terminal Information Service, information Romeo was in effect at the time of the accident which contained the 2353 surface weather observation, and that there was no bird activity reported in this information. (See attached Radar Data and Record of Telephone Conversation.)

Examination of feathers recovered from the cockpit and wing area of the aircraft was performed by Carla Dove, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C. The feathers were identified as coming from Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens), with an average weight for this species of 2,450 grams. (See attached email from Carla Dove.)

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