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Last updated: 25 April 2018
Datum:Montag 25 September 1978
Flugzeugtyp:Silhouette image of generic B722 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 727-214
Fluggesellschaft:Pacific Southwest Airlines - PSA
Kennzeichen: N533PS
Werknummer: 19688/589
Baujahr: 1968-06-04 (10 years 4 months)
Anzahl Zyklen der Zelle:36557
Triebwerk: 3 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7B
Besatzung:Todesopfer: 7 / Insassen: 7
Fluggäste:Todesopfer: 128 / Insassen: 128
Gesamt:Todesopfer: 135 / Insassen: 135
Opfer am Boden:Todesopfer: 7
Opfer des Zusammenstoßes:Todesopfer: 2
Sachschaden: Zerstört
Konsequenzen: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Unfallort:5,6 km (3.5 Meilen) NE of San Diego International Airport, CA (SAN) (   USA)
Flugphase: Annäherung (APR)
Betriebsart:Inländischer planmäßiger Passagierflug
Flug von:Los Angeles International Airport, CA (LAX/KLAX), USA
Flug nach:San Diego International Airport, CA (SAN/KSAN), USA
Gibbs Flite Center Cessna 172 aircraft (N7711G) had taken off from Montgomery Field at 08:16 PST and proceeded to Lindbergh Field were two practice ILS approaches to runway 09 were flown. At 09:00 the Cessna pilot was instructed to maintain VFR at or below 3500 feet, heading 70deg. PSA Flight 182 (a scheduled passenger flight from Sacramento to San Diego via Los Angeles), cleared for a runway 27 approach, was advised by the approach controller that there was traffic in front of them. The PSA crew reported the traffic in sight immediately thereafter and the PSA flight was instructed to maintain visual separation and contact Lindbergh tower. Lindbergh tower again warned the PSA flight crew of "traffic, twelve o'clock, one mile, a Cessna". The crew had lost track of the Cessna and radioed back: "think he's passing off to our right". The flight crew still weren't sure of the actual position of the Cessna.
At 09:01:28 a conflict alert warning began in the San Diego Approach Control facility, indicating a collision hazard between PSA182 and the Cessna. At 09:01:47 the approach controller warned the Cessna pilot of traffic in the vicinity. At the same moment both aircraft collided. Flight 182 was descending and overtaking the Cessna, which was climbing in a wings level attitude. The Cessna broke up immediately and exploded after colliding with the Boeing's right wing. The Boeing entered a shallow right descending turn and crashed into a residential area.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The failure of the flightcrew of Flight 182 to comply with the provisions of a maintain-visual-separation clearance, including the requirement to inform the controller when visual contact was lost; and the air traffic control procedures in effect which authorized the controllers to use visual separation procedures in a terminal area environment when the capability was available to provide either lateral or vertical separation to either aircraft. Contributing to the accident were (1) the failure of the controller to advise Flight 182 of the direction of movement of the Cessna; (2) the failure of the pilot of
the Cessna to maintain his assigned heading; and (3) the improper resolution by the controller of the conflict alert."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 206 days (7 months)
Accident number: NTSB/AAR-79-05
Download report: Final report

» NTSB-AAR-79-05
» NTSB-AAR-82-07


NTSB issued 6 Safety Recommendations

Show all AD's and Safety Recommendations


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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Los Angeles International Airport, CA to San Diego International Airport, CA as the crow flies is 175 km (109 miles).
Accident location: Exact; deduced from official accident report.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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Boeing 727

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  • 30th loss
  • 26th Fataler Unfall
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