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1983 Aero Mexico Mid-air in Cerritos Ca.

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  • 1983 Aero Mexico Mid-air in Cerritos Ca.

    Anyone else watch the re-creation of events on the Nat. Geo. station yesterday? The collision itself was absoulutely hair raising. Very chilling to watch.

  • #2
    I didn't catch it, but I know of the crash. This picture was taken by a witness as the a/c went down.

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    • #3
      Is that pic of PSA 182 or the Aeromexico one? It's kind of hard to tell but it looks a lot like a 722 in that one. I wish I had nat geo.

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      • #4
        The pic is of the Aeromexico a/c, you can see where the plane's horizontal stabilizers have been sheared off by the collision, which led to it's dive.

        Here are pics of the PSA a/c, which was equally as horrific.

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        • #5
          Wow, sorry I missed the re-creation. Saw the real thing though. 2 blocks from my home. Wiped out a piece of the neighborhood. I drive right by there a couple of times a week.

          Still a little erie, even 20 some years later.



          My house is two blocks south of this. Also, it was August 31, 1986. The Sunday of a three day holiday weekend, if I remember correctly.

          I worked at McDonnell Douglas Aircraft at the time. The DC-9 weckage was gathered up and taken to a hanger we had available. That hanger is now where the C-17 is built.

          My Flight Instructor was heading eastbound back to LGB at the time and saw the impact. She still won't talk about it.
          Last edited by 11Fan; 2008-03-20, 04:22. Reason: Added the picture from AD

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          • #6
            Originally posted by cegro27
            I didn't catch it, but I know of the crash. This picture was taken by a witness as the a/c went down.

            Pretty horrific picture. It would be difficult to imagine the full impact of knowing that you likely only have seconds left to live.

            I did see the show on this crash earlier this year (or a similar one - I hadn't heard about it before). It seems quite amazing that two aircraft could get to the point of intersection without noticing each other until the last moment. And once impact occurred, there was no hope for either aircraft.

            I did find this site, which had a good summary of the importance of this incident and other accidents in the improvements in aviation safety. The story notes that this incident was an important incident in the implementation of TCAS in commercial aviation.

            http://www.iasa.com.au/folders/Safet...echnology.html

            Crash investigator Greg Feith has traced the Piper's route. It seems the pilot followed the wrong freeway. Instead of heading South to Long Beach on the 405, as his flight plan dictated, he went east on 91 -- a freeway that runs directly under the approach lanes to LAX.

            Greg Feith: He didn't tell the controllers he was there ‘cause he didn't know he was there.

            Narrator: The first air traffic controllers knew of his presence, was when a small blip appeared on their screens. The blip came from the Piper's transponder, a device that radios a plane's position to Air Traffic Control. But the transponder was a basic model, and did not give the plane's altitude. The controller had no way of knowing that the Piper was climbing directly into the approach path of incoming commercial jets.

            Flying in from Tijuana that day was an AeroMexico DC-9. As the Piper continued to climb, the DC-9 descended on a collision course at a hundred and ninety miles an hour ...

            Greg Feith: As the Piper flew up in front of the DC-9, the AeroMexico pilot only had time to say "No this can't be" before the tail-plane struck the Piper Archer, decapitating both the pilot and his passengers.

            Narrator: A press photographer happened to look up when the planes collided, and fired off a shot as the DC-9 plummeted to the ground. The debris tore into the Los Angeles neighborhood of Cerritos. All 64 people on the DC-9, three aboard the Piper, and fifteen on the ground perished. The final death toll was 82.

            After the accident, investigators determined that the AeroMexico pilots should have had the small plane in view for almost two minutes. It was a clear day with 14 miles visibility. So why didn't the pilots see the Piper?

            Greg Feith: Well, this is what it's like as we approach a big city, looking down from the cockpit. In fact it's even more difficult for an airline pilot because he can't get as close to the windscreen as I can. It's just very, very difficult to see anything against the background of a big city.
            Terry
            Lurking at JP since the BA 777 at Heathrow and AD lost responsiveness to the throttles.
            How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth? Sherlock Holmes

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            • #7
              Greg Feith: Well, this is what it's like as we approach a big city, looking down from the cockpit. In fact it's even more difficult for an airline pilot because he can't get as close to the windscreen as I can. It's just very, very difficult to see anything against the background of a big city.
              This is true. Once, on a Delta flight into ORD I snapped a picture of the southside of the city as we were on downwind. It wasn't until I got the picture developed that I realised, there was a KLM 747 flying just below the horizon, also captured in the shot.

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              • #8
                Jesus that second PSA 182 shot looks so surreal, like something out of a movie. I get chills every time I think about that accident. I almost get teary eyed thinking that the last thing the CVR recorded was somebody in the cockpit saying "Ma, I love you."

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by JordanD
                  I almost get teary eyed thinking that the last thing the CVR recorded was somebody in the cockpit saying "Ma, I love you."
                  I seem to remember that was the First Officer.

                  The day of the San Diego crash, I went over to Long Beach Airport just to stare at a PSA 727 sitting on the tarmac.


                  Chilling.

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                  • #10
                    The Air Emergency "Out of Sight" episode (Aeroméxico Flight 498/private plane mid-air collision) reruns 3/26 at around 2am (depending on your timezone) on the US NGC.

                    Before it, they're running "Panic Over the Pacific" (China Airlines 006 in-flight upset) and "Miracle Escape" (Air France 358 runway overrun in Toronto).

                    BTW, this series airs in other countries as "Mayday" or "Air Crash Investigation".

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                    • #11
                      If you all would like to read some eyewitness reports on the PSA accident, check out this link. Some of the stories or recounts are pretty brutal so beware. http://sandiegoblog.com/archives/200...sa-crash-1978/

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                      • #12
                        And modern class B airspace was born....with 50 mile mode C arcs...

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Leftseat86
                          And modern class B airspace was born....with 50 mile mode C arcs...
                          I know of 30-mile Mode C arcs, this is the first I hear of 50-mile ones.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by flyboy2548m
                            I know of 30-mile Mode C arcs, this is the first I hear of 50-mile ones.
                            There are also 100 and 150 mile ones, but they are super secret

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                            • #15
                              Those personal accounts about the bodies are aweful. I'd never get over that scene. I ALWAYS can't help but picture the right wing of a 727 appearing over my left shoulder screaming towards me almost everytime I fly past the airliners at SFO and OAK. Horrible.
                              sigpic
                              http://www.jetphotos.net/showphotos.php?userid=170

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