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Crash of Flight 182 in San Diego 25 September 1978

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Today is the 34th anniversary of a tragic day in aviation and San Diego history, the mid-air collision of a PSA Boeing 727 with a Cessna 172 over North Park, a quiet neighborhood in San Diego. Both planes went down, no survivors, 144 dead, including 7 on the ground, plus 9 wounded (on the ground). Happened near the corner of Dwight and Nile streets.

My friends and I came out of math class at 09:30 to a sky filled with smoke. We jumped in our cars and drove from San Diego High to the crash site. Many others had had the same idea, but we got close enough to see something I'll never forget. Many homes were gone, about five were on fire, paramedics and firemen rushing around, fire hoses, debris everywhere, people carrying body bags--chaos. Every time this date rolls around I remember it.

My heart goes out to the survivors of loved ones lost in that horrible crash. I know they have coped with memories far more life-changing than mine, as a mere witness. Still, it was my neighborhood, and we lived under the flight path. Hearing those planes come in after that never sounded the same again.


Added: Sep-25-2012 Occurred On: Sep-25-2012
By: cleetusawreetus
In:
History
Tags: PSA, Boeing 727, Cessna 172, San Diego, air disaster, crash, mid-air collision, no survivors, San Diego High School
Location: San Diego, California, United States (load item map)
Views: 25161 | Comments: 45 | Votes: 9 | Favorites: 2 | Shared: 421 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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  • Comment of user 'RugOutFromUnderYou' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • @RugOutFromUnderYou

      So chilling reading those words. Good one I had a fascination with air disasters a few years ago and I was reading transcripts and listening to all the CVRs and what not. Terrible way to go out they always made me sad.

      Posted Sep-25-2012 By 

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    • Comment of user 'RugOutFromUnderYou' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • @RugOutFromUnderYou

      Definitely

      Posted Sep-25-2012 By 

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    • @Blklight There was an excellent play that started in NYC then went worldwide viral 10 yrs ago, called "Charlie Victor Romeo"....actors memorized the CVR transcripts verbatim, and dressed as flight crew in a cockpit, with the audience seemingly in the passenger section....if it ever comes back, go see it....The USAF, and several airlines, made it mandatory for pilots - as it revealed many crashes were pilot error.

      Posted Sep-25-2012 By 

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    • @RugOutFromUnderYou

      Thanks for sharing that. Looks like it was all over within about 20-25 seconds. Damn, that was fast. Probably for the best.

      Posted Sep-26-2012 By 

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  • I remember this well.

    This is a no-shitter:

    Back in 1987, I had a chance to talk to some folks, when I lived in San Diego, who grew up in that neighborhood. The stories they told were horrific.
    As kids, they found gut piles hanging in trees, and bodies blown threw 2nd story windows taking out the window frames in the process. Just horrible sights and smells.

    Posted Sep-25-2012 By 

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  • A day that I remember all too well. RIP

    Posted Sep-25-2012 By 

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  • I think this is the crash that was descibed in one of the "Faces of Death" movies. It sounded crazy horrifying, bodies on roofs, flying through windows, just everywhere...horrible.

    Posted Sep-25-2012 By 

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  • I saw the Air Crash Investigation episode about this one. RIP to the victims, such a terrible way to die.

    Speaking of air disasters they were saying on the news there was almost two collisions at Midway just recently. They make it seem like everything is all in control but there are a lot of near disasters on a daily basis. Fly safe everyone!

    Posted Sep-25-2012 By 

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  • So sad

    Posted Sep-25-2012 By 

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  • terrible thing to witness!

    Posted Sep-25-2012 By 

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  • The photo taken of this plane inverted with a chuck out of the leading edge is second only to the picture of that O'Hare crash in '79.

    We get a lot of these opportunities around Burbank ATC flying into Whiteman - Van Nuys isn't so bad, but a three zero approach to Whiteman puts you parallel and under approaching heavies. A missed approach or gear problem, you get to choose between a mountain or tangling with a three-seven at your nine'o clock.

    Hawthorne is another fun one.

    RIP.

    Posted Sep-25-2012 By 

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  • I moved to SD in 1980, but my girlfriend has never lived anywhere else. We just watched this, and she started to cry. When I asked why, not to be a jerk, but because she is a nurse that sees horrible things all the time, she said "Because I was 8 years old, I was at school, and we could see the smoke, and the teachers were freaking out and we were all very scared. No grown up would tell us why they were upset, or what had happened in case any of our parents were flying that day". I can More..

    Posted Sep-26-2012 By 

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  • I was a kid in Southern California at the time and I vividly remember this crash. By far the most gruesome of the fatalities was the "screaming superman." A male passenger was ejected from the crash a was hurled down the street in a prone position. He was said to be screaming before hitting a parked car.

    http://www.airdisaster.com/ is a good site if you're interested in learning more about plane crashes.

    Posted Sep-25-2012 By 

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  • clleetus, this is an awesome post. Horrible tragedy. Sorry you had to witness it up close. Sounds like it is a day you will never forget.

    For some reason these accidents interest me and I remember watching a Air Crash Investigation video on it, also known as Mayday series. I find the stories of how they figure out what caused these accidents very interesting.

    Here is a link to that video for anyone interested:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lE0QUiV1XDs

    Posted Sep-26-2012 By 

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  • Tragic day.... I remember it clearly. Also the cerritos crash. What a mess... RIP

    Posted Sep-26-2012 By 

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    • @rbvr1 Cerritos crash chills me--i was at knotts Berry farm-I didnt see it-but I should have, just wasnt looking in the right direction. Whats creepy about that one is you can still go to the place and see marks and gouges in the curbs.

      Posted Sep-27-2012 By 

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    • @Jegsman I drove by that exit just after it happened,,,Wondered what all that huge smoke billow was.....

      My friend was lead investigator on it. He had to handle the next PSA crash up north a few months later , I forget where. (The one where the employee walked into the cockpit and blew the crew away?). He had to be reassigned after that.

      Was just too much to see and take in. It affected him. They are just horrible sights to even begin to describe.

      Posted Sep-27-2012 By 

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  • I REMEMBER THAT MORNING VIVIDLY. A FRIEND OF MINE WHO IS ALSO A PILOT SAID THAT SINCE THE PLANE WAS FULL OF OTHER PILOTS AND PSA PERSONNEL.........THEY KNEW AT IMPACT THAT THEIR PLANE WAS NOT RECOVERABLE.
    THATS A TERROR AND A HORROR I WOULDN'T WISH ON MY WORST ENEMY.
    SO SAD.

    Posted Sep-26-2012 By 

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  • RIP ..

    Posted Sep-26-2012 By 

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  • Tragic as it is, that man took some amazing photographs.

    Posted Sep-26-2012 By 

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  • Horrible. rip

    Posted Sep-26-2012 By 

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  • R.I.P.

    Posted Sep-26-2012 By 

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  • I was supposed to have flown on NW #255 out of Detroit, I changed my mind at last moment and took a different flight. Otherwise I would have been on that one.

    Posted Sep-27-2012 By 

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  • Comment of user 'DirtyUncleBerty' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • RIP

    Posted Sep-26-2012 By 

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  • Damn,That would give me nightmares forever. I don't think i would be able to fly again.

    I think Pietro is a bit gay.

    Posted Sep-26-2012 By 

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  • Tragic story.

    R.I.P.

    Posted Sep-26-2012 By 

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  • yo i never heard of this yo when did it happen yo?

    Posted Sep-26-2012 By 

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  • I lost my brother on this flight. It took six weeks of waiting for a body to be returned to us for burial for them to tell us that he was one of only four passengers that could not be recovered. It was such a short flight - such a disastrous day! There were literally days when no one showed up at the coroner's office, they said, because of the horrific sights - 34 years ago today, and I am still devastated.....

    Posted Sep-25-2013 By 

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    • @Phyllis Lozano¬†
      It's difficult to find words that seem "proper" as a reply to this, Phyllis. I can only wish that you'll eventually find peace and comfort.

      My condolences to you and your family.

      Posted Jan-24-2014 By 

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  • @1:08 ... Mr. LoCoco is a little LoHomo ...

    Posted Jun-14-2013 By 

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