September 25, 1978
San Diego, California
Pacific Southwest Airlines, Flight 182
Boeing B-727-214

Midair collision. The PSA was descending and about to land at Lindbergh Field. The Cessna
was climbing while engaged in practice approaches. The 727 overtook and struck the Cessna
from the rear. The primary cause was the PSA crew lost sight of the Cessna and did not make
that fact known to the ATC. The ATC failed to realize from the PSA transmissions that they
lost sight of the Cessna. One hundred thirty-five killed on the PSA, two on the Cessna and
seven on the ground.

APP = San Diego Approach
TWR = Lindbergh Tower
PSA RT 1 = Radio transmission, Captain
PSA RT 2 = Radio transmission, First Officer
CAM = Cockpit area mike
CAM 1 = Captain
CAM 2 = First Officer
Cam 3 = Flight Engineer
Cam 4 = Deadheading Captain
?? = unknown.

08.59:30 APP PSA one eighty-two, traffic twelve o'clock, one mile northbound.
08.59:35 PSA RT 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 northwest bound, a Cessna one seventy-two climbing VFR out of one thousand four hundred.
08:59:50 PSA RT 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 PSA RT 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 PSA RT 1 Okay.
09.00:34 PSA RT 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.
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 PSA RT 1 Okay, we had it there a minute ago.
09.00:47 TWR One eighty-two, roger.
09.00:50 PSA RT 1 I think he's passed 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 PSA RT 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 PSA RT 1 One eighty-two's cleared to land.
09.01:11 CAM 2 Are we clear of that Cessna?
09.01:13 CAM- 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
09.01:48 CAM 1 On shit!
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]
  CAM 1 This is it baby!
  CAM ? Bob [name of F/O]
  CAM 1 Brace yourself.
  CAM ? Hey baby..
  CAM? Ma I love you..
09.02:04 [End of recording]

Back to Last Words