Accident description
Last updated: 22 December 2014
Status:Final
Date:Sunday 31 August 1986
Time:11:52
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC93 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32
Operator:Aeroméxico
Registration: XA-JED
C/n / msn: 47356/470
First flight: 1969
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7
Crew:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 58 / Occupants: 58
Total:Fatalities: 64 / Occupants: 64
Ground casualties:Fatalities: 15
Collision casualties:Fatalities: 3
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Cerritos, CA (   United States of America) show on map
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Tijuana-Rodriguez Airport (TIJ/MMTJ), Mexico
Destination airport:Los Angeles International Airport, CA (LAX/KLAX), United States of America
Flightnumber: 498
Narrative:
Aéromexico flight 498 was a scheduled passenger flight from Mexico City to Los Angeles with intermediate stops at Guadalajara, Loreto and Tijuana. The DC-9, named "Hermosillo", departed Tijuana at 11:20 and proceeded toward Los Angeles at FL100. At 11:44 Coast Approach Control cleared the flight to 7000 feet. Just three minutes earlier Piper PA-28-181 Cherokee N4891F departed Torrance, CA for a VFR flight to Big Bear, CA. On board were a pilot and two passengers.
The Piper pilot turned to an easterly heading toward the Paradise VORTAC and entered the Terminal Control Area (TCA) without receiving clearance from ATC as required by FAR Part 91.90. At 11:47 the Aéromexico pilot contacted L.A. Approach Control and reported level at 7000 feet. The approach controller cleared flight 498 to depart Seal Beach on a heading of 320deg for the ILS runway "two five left final approach course...". At 11:51:04, the approach controller asked the flight to reduce its airspeed to 190 KIAS and cleared it to descend to 6,000 feet. At about 11:52:09, flight 498 and the Piper collided over Cerritos at an altitude of about 6,560 feet. The Piper struck the left hand side of the DC-9's horizontal and vertical stabilizer. The horizontal stabilizer sliced through the Piper's cabin following which it separated from the tailplane. Both planes tumbled down out of control. The wreckage and post impact fires destroyed five houses and damaged seven others. Fifteen persons on the ground were killed. The sky was clear, the reported visibility was 14 miles.


PROBABLE CAUSE: "The limitations of the ATC system to provide collision protection, through both ATC procedures and automated redundancy. Factors contributing to the accident were (1) the inadvertent and unauthorized entry of the PA-28 into the Los Angeles Terminal Control Area and (2) the limitations of the "see and avoid" concept to ensure traffic separation under the conditions of the conflict."

Classification:
Mid air collision
Loss of control

Sources:
» NTSB/AAR-87/07

Official accident investigation report
investigating agency: National Transport Safety Bureau (NTSB) - United States of America
report status: Final
report number: NTSB/AAR-87-07
report released:07-JUL-1987
duration of investigation:310 days (10.3 months)
download report: Collision of Aeronaves De Mexico, S.A. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32, XA-JED and Piper PA-28-181, N4891F, Cerritos, California, August 31, 1986. (NTSB/AAR-87-07)

Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 3 Safety Recommendations

Show all AD's and Safety Recommendations

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Map
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 Tijuana-Rodriguez Airport to Los Angeles International Airport, CA as the crow flies is 204 km (128 miles).

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DC-9-30

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