SkyNet - Special Report

Date: September 25, 1978
Type: B-727 and Cessna 172
Registration: N533PS and N7711G
Operator: Pacific Southwest Airlines, Inc.
Where: San Diego, California
Report No. NTSB-AAR-79-5
Report Date: April 20, 1979
Pages: 74

About 0901:47, September 25, 1978, Pacific Southwest Airlines, Inc., Flight 182, a Boeing 727-214, and a Gibbs Flite Center, Inc., Cessna 172, collided in midair about 3 nautical miles northeast of Lindbergh Field, San Diego, California. Both aircraft crashed in a residential area. One hundred and thirty-seven persons, including those on both aircraft were killed; 7 persons on the ground were killed; and 9 persons on the ground were injured. Twenty-two dwellings were damaged or destroyed. The weather was clear, and the visibility was 10 miles.

The Cessna was climbing on a northeast heading and was in radio contact with the San Diego approach control. Flight 182 was on a visual approach to runway 27. Its flightcrew had reported sighting the Cessna and was cleared by the approach controller to maintain visual separation and to contact the Lindbergh tower. Upon contacting the tower, Flight 182 was again advised of the Cessna's position. The flightcrew did not have the Cessna in sight. They thought they had passed it and continued their approach. The aircraft collided near 2,600 ft m.s.l.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was 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 they no longer had the other aircraft in sight.

Contributing to the accident were the air traffic control procedures in effect which authorized the controllers to use visual separation procedures to separate two aircraft on potentially conflicting tracks when the capability was available to provide either lateral or vertical radar separation to either aircraft.

CVR transcript PSA Boeing 727

25.09.78 Boeing 727-214 N533PS Pacific Southwest Airlines - PSA
135(135) + 9 San Diego
While on a visual approach for Runway 27, the Boeing collided with Cessna 172 N7711G (Gibbs Flite Center) at 2600ft. Both aircraft crashed into a residential area of San Diego.

APP = San Diego Approach
CAM = Cockpit Area Mike
RDO = Radio transmission
-1 = captain
-2 = first officer
-3 = 2nd officer
-4 = casual PSA captain

Time: Source: Contents:
08.59:30 APP PSA one eighty-two, traffic twelve o'clock, one mile northbound
08.59:35 RDO-1 We're looking
08.59:30 APP PSA one eighty-two, additional traffic's, ah, twelve o'clock, three miles just north of the field northwestbound, a Cessna one seventy-two climbing VFR out of one thousand four hundred.
08:59:50 RDO-2 Okay, we've got that other twelve.
08.59:57 APP Cessna seven seven one one golf, San Diego departure radar contact, maintain VFR conditions at or below three thousand five hundred, fly heading zero seven zero, vector final approach course,
09.00:16 APP PSA one eighty-two, traffic's at twelve o'clock, three miles out of one thousand seven hundred.
09.00:21 CAM-2 Got'em.
09.00:22 RDO-1 Traffic in sight.
09.00:23 APP Okay, sir, maintain visual separation, contact Lindbergh tower one three three point three, have a nice day now.
09.00:28 RDO-1 Okay
09.00:34 RDO-1 Lindbergh PSA one eighty-two downwind.
09.00:38 TWR PSA one eighty-two, Lindbergh tower, ah, traffic twelve o'clock one mile a Cessna
                                 Click here to hear recorded sound file
09.00:41 CAM-2 Flaps five
09.00:43 CAM-1 Is that the one we're looking at.
09.00:43 CAM-2 Yeah, but I don't see him now.
09.00:44 RDO-1 Okay, we had it there a minute ago.
09.00:47 TWR One eighty-two, roger.
09.00:50 RDO-1 I think he's pass(sed) off to our right.
09.00:51 TWR Yeah.
09.00:52 CAM-1 He was right over here a minute ago.
09.00:53 TWR How far are you going to take your downwind one eighty-two, company traffic is waiting for departure.
09.00:57 RDO-1 Ah probably about three to four miles.
09.00:59 TWR Okay.
09.01:07 TWR PSA one eighty-two, cleared to land.
09.01:08 RDO-1 One eighty-two's cleared to land.
09.01:11 CAM-2 Are we clear of that Cessna?
09.01:13 CAM-3 Suppose to be.
09.01:14 CAM-1 I guess.
09.01:20 CAM-4 I hope.
09.01:21 CAM-1 Oh yeah, before we turned downwind, I saw him about one o'clock, probably behind us now.
09.01:38 CAM-2 There's one underneath.
09.01:39 CAM-2 I was looking at that inbound there.
09.01:45 CAM-1 Whoop!
09.01:46 CAM-2 Aghhh!
09.01:47 CAM Sound of impact
09.01:49 CAM-1 Easy baby, easy baby.
09.01:51 CAM [sound of electrical system reactivation tone on cvr, system off less than one second]
09.01:51 CAM-1 What have we got here?
09.01:52 CAM-2 It's bad.
09.01:53 CAM-2 We're hit man, we are hit.
09.01:56 RDO-1 Tower, we're going down, this is PSA.
09.01:57 TWR Okay, we'll call the equipment for you.
09.01:58 CAM [sound of stall warning]








This is it!

Brace yourself!

Mom I love you!

[end of recording]

Recording between Cessna N7711G and Miramar RATCF:

Time: Source: Contents:
08.59:51 7711G (unintelligeble) seven seven one one gulf (unintelligeble) one thousand five hundred ah northwestbound
08.59:56 Miramar Cessna seven seven one one golf San Diego departure radar contact maintain VFR conditions at or below three thousand five hundred, fly heading zero seven zero, vector final approach course.
09.00:08 7711G zero seven zero on the heading and VF'n R below three thousand five hundred (unintelligeble).
09.00:31 Miramar Cessna one one golf and traffic's at six o'clock two miles eastbound PSA jet inbound to Lindbergh out of three thousand two hundred has you in sight.
09.00:43 7711G one one gulf roger.
09.01:47 Miramar Cessna one one golf a traffic ah in your vicinity a PSA jet has you in sight he's descending for Lindbergh.

Report complied by David Lisk (c)1997
Return to Airline Disasters 1920 - 1997 Database
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