ATL95LA017
ATL95LA017

On November 20, 1994, at 1810 eastern standard time, a WK-PZL-Mielec TS-11 Iskra, N619R, collided with terrain during the final approach to the Shelby Municipal Airport, in Shelby, North Carolina. The private pilot was fatally injured, and the aircraft was destroyed by impact forces and fire. The aircraft was operated under 14 CFR Part 91 by the pilot. Night, visual meteorological conditions existed at the time, and no flight plan was on file for the personal flight. The flight originated in Gadsden, Alabama, at an undetermined time.

The pilot departed from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, about 1400 central standard time, on the afternoon of the accident. He had planned an enroute stop in Gadsden for fuel. He arrived in Gadsden, and refueled the aircraft. He then departed Gadsden for Shelby.

A pilot, who was at the fixed base operator (FBO) of the Shelby Airport, witnessed the accident. He stated that it was dark at the time, and he observed no landing light on the aircraft, only the red and green navigation lights. He heard the pilot make a radio call that he was "turning base to final." The aircraft rolled out on final, with no landing light illuminated. The aircraft rolled to the right, about 30 degrees, then suddenly to the left. The aircraft disappeared below a ridge, and burst into flames. The engine sounded as if it were at idle thrust during the approach.

The aircraft impacted the ground about 300 feet short of runway 5. The initial ground impact scars were oriented on a magnetic heading of 40 degrees. The left wing was found in fragments between the initial impact area and the main wreckage. The right wing remained attached to the fuselage. The main wreckage was located about 172 feet short of runway 5.

The pilot was operating the aircraft under a Letter of Authorization (LOA) issued by the Birmingham, Alabama Flight Standards District Office (Federal Aviation Administration). The letter, dated August 31, 1994, superseded a previous LOA. The previous LOA restricted flight in the accident aircraft to day, visual flight rules only. The August 31 LOA removed that restriction.

The accident pilot had made remarks prior to the accident that he thought the instrument lighting system in N619R was inadequate. The pilot also expressed concerns on the afternoon prior to the accident that he needed to arrive at his destination (Shelby) before dark.

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