It was 37 years ago that Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) Flight 182 crashed in San Diego, but the wreck is still heavily etched in the minds of so many. Volunteers removing aircraft engine debris in front of Nile and Dwight Streets.

Joseph Rigney, Downey, Donald St. Germain, San Diego Known as VORAD (Vehicle On-Board Radar), it works like a police radar gun, emitting low-output microwave signals that continuously scout for obstacles closer than 300 feet ahead of a vehicle. He was learning the intricacies of the aircraft’s ILS or Instrument Landing System.17 Once certified, Boswell could land any ILS-equipped aircraft at night or under adverse weather conditions following an airport-emitted radio beam without seeing its runway until just before touching down.18, Although it was the nation’s busiest single runway airport, Lindbergh Field was the only airport in San Diego County set up for ILS certification training. Wayne Allen Levin, Beverly Hills If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware. Once aircraft got below 2,500 feet, Lindbergh Field’s control tower would take over all landing approach control procedures.

With no other protection than a pair of surgical gloves, he placed small, same-colored flags near dismembered body parts that looked like they might belong to a nearby corpse. If Boswell or Kazy had had access to Lindbergh Field’s transmissions, they likely would have identified their location in relation to PSA Flight 182.38 Since Miramar had informed them that Flight 182 had them in sight, presumably neither felt compelled to actively locate the huge jet airliner bearing down on them. Because the controller believed that the flight crew “knew as much or more about the traffic than I did…,” he “did not relay any further information to him.” All of this helped to seal both aircrafts’ doom.31, There seemed to be a state of confusion among PSA 182’s cabin crew. Kirk C. Dutton, Los Angeles, Mario Escalante, Sacramento There were 3 other arrests for removing aircraft debris, or evidence, from the scene of an accident.

Arnold Lee Califf, Poway San Diego History Center Quarterly

Lisa Denise Davis, Lakeside Incredulously, Miramar did not inform PSA 182 or Lindbergh Control about the conflict alert warning.42, At 09:01:47.9, just as PSA Flight 182 tipped its right wing down into banked turn roughly 2,600 feet above the intersection of 30th Street and El Cajon Boulevard, it overtook and struck Cessna N7711G with its nose wheel.

Colleen A. Kepler, San Diego Although he had worked previously at the Clairemont Mortuary, he was shocked at the amount of human disjecta membra amid the wreckage surrounding him.73 According to Jaus, Only a few bodies were recognizable as human. Gail Michele Forsyth, San Diego No arrest reports charged anyone with looting human remains or damaged homes.63. Spring 2017, Volume 63, Number 3+4, To those unfamiliar with the San Diego community of North Park, Dwight Street (between Boundary and Nile Streets) is a quiet streetscape composed primarily of unassuming single-story homes. Farrell Kimball, Sacramento Navy Corpsmen search for remains at the corner of Nile and Dwight looking at part of tail engine markingpoint of impact. Many had personally worked with at least one person on Flight 182. Aerial view of crash scene. PSA FLIGHT 182. Its on-board radar beacon sensors, encoding altimeters, transponders, and computers automatically give pilots direct, immediate knowledge of potential mid-air collisions. At 09:00:52 Captain McFeron remarked, “He [the Cessna] was right over there a minute ago.” Twenty seconds later, Fox asked, “Are we clear of that Cessna?” Flight Engineer Wahne responded with, “Supposed to be” while the captain said, “I guess.” An off-duty captain, also in the cockpit, added, “I hope.”32, Perhaps to ease the tension, at 09:01:21 Captain McFeron stated, “Oh, yeah, before we turned downwind, I saw him about one o’clock, probably behind us now.” 33 It has been suggested that Captain McFeron might have been referring to a Cessna 401, call sign N3208Q, that was also conducting ILS approach landings while in radio contact with Lindbergh Field between 08:58 and 09:05. Flight Officer Fox responded, “It’s bad.” When asked to elaborate, he emphatically stated, “We’re hit, man; we are hit!”48 Three seconds later, Captain McFeron calmly notified Lindbergh Field, “Tower, we’re going down, this is PSA.” Lindbergh Control responded with, “Okay, we’ll call the equipment for you.”49, PSA Flight 182’s true condition made it impossible that it would reach Lindberg Field. He was overheard saying to a stewardess, “It was a short night…I’m draggin’!” Thirty minutes later he and 143 people were dead, deaths that Price, Holley, and Chapman believed were preventable.105, Like most tragic aviation-related accidents, the crash of PSA Flight 182 led to immediate and long-range improvements to both local and national air traffic control procedures. Rankin paused to look at the still smoldering crash site behind him before exclaiming, “Holy [expletive]! During its descent, the Boeing jet airliner was in a “nose up deck approach” which meant that it was almost next to impossible for its flight crew to see the small Cessna flying directly below it.39 The overhead position of the climbing Cessna 172 Skyhawk’s cantilevered wing would have restricted Boswell and Kazy’s rear view.40, At 09:01:28, Miramar’s radar-activated automated conflict alert alarm sounded, warning of an impending collision between the two aircraft.41 Installed only a month earlier, the system gave the ground controller no more than 40 seconds notice to warn the approaching aircraft. Donald St. Germain, San Diego George Saunders, Rancho Palos Verdes Marla Scavia, La Mesa Dave Schmidt, Sacramento Ralph Schueler, Sacramento

These included the local air traffic controllers’ use of visual separation procedures when radar was available, and their failure to advise the flight crew of Cessna N7711G’s direction of movement. Rosalia Lococo, El Cajon Mary Beard, Sacramento Basically, in layman’s terms, they had to keep the Cessna in their sight and not hit it.26, While Lindbergh Control was now responsible for PSA Flight 182’s final approach, Cessna N7711G was under Miramar’s guidance, which, at 09:00:00 directed it to continue to maintain its 70 degree heading under VFR at or below 3,500 feet.27 At 09:00:31, Miramar informed Boswell that there was “traffic at six o’clock [directly behind them], two miles, eastbound; a PSA jet inbound to Lindbergh Field, out of 3,200 [feet altitude that], has you in sight.” Boswell immediately radioed his acknowledgment.28, As PSA Flight 182 began its diagonal transit across Mission Valley, Captain McFeron informed Lindbergh Control that it was beginning its downwind approach.

Meetings, Lectures & Workshops – History Center.

There were few bodies to speak of—only pieces…I was no stranger to dead bodies, but I wasn’t ready to see the torso of a stewardess slammed against a car. Years later, another first responder, SDPD officer Bill Farrar, lamented, I drive by the crash location about once a year. Pauleen Colarich, Concord Charles Bren, Los Angeles

While rushing toward a burning house, he stopped in his tracks. San Diego, CA 92101, For general inquiries: If an approaching vehicle gets too close, the system automatically engages the vehicle’s braking system, thereby avoiding a dangerous collision. Author’s collection.

Jeri Dickson, Los Angeles Such activities were relegated to smaller “feeder” airfields, like San Diego’s Montgomery and Brown Fields, El Cajon’s Gillespie Field, and Carlsbad’s McClellan-Palomar Airport, all of which were upgraded to facilitate ILS control pilot training.108, Arguably, the most important historical aftereffect of the crash of PSA Flight 182—and an eerily similar mid-air collision between an Aeroméxico jet airliner and a private aircraft over Cerritos on August 31, 1986—was the accelerated development of an effective modern aircraft Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS).109 Early versions of the TCAS had been in development since June 30, 1956, when two commercial airliners collided over the Grand Canyon. Gary Moore, Sacramento He claimed that he was fired after reporting the difficult working conditions that most likely contributed to the PSA flight crew’s mental and physical impairment. PSA Flight 182 was a regularly scheduled flight from Sacramento to San Diego with a short stop at Los Angeles. The airline would eventually pay over $5.5 million in settlements to claimants for property damage as well as wrongful death suits.87, Nine people were injured in the crash, most of whom survived by crawling out of the back windows of their burning homes.

Roger W. Walsh, Solana Beach A 14-year veteran pilot, Chapman had filed a lawsuit against PSA in 1981 for wrongful termination and emotional distress.

James Edward McFeron, Escondido Lawrence Wilson, Sacramento Although he had only worked at Gibbs for slightly over a year, Kazy, who held a commercial pilot license with single and multi-engine instruments, had worked for several years previously as a certified flight instructor in Ohio. Jim Stinnett, Los Angeles There were no faces on the bodies. info@sandiegohistory.org

A curated virtual cemetery for names in PSA Flight 182 & Hughes Airwest Flight 706: a Virtual Cemetery, a Find A Grave. The closest is a small plaque sitting in front of a memorial tree planted outside the North Park branch library. ©SDHC #92:18835-2062. Located in the heart of Balboa Park Robert Sinclair Silver, Marina Del Rey, Kirk Smith, Palo Alto

Thomas Masker, Monterey Supporting Chapman’s claim was an unsuccessful 50-day strike by PSA pilots seeking improved work schedules.104, San Jose State University biologists also supported the case for pilot fatigue. A post-collision report determined that both pilots had “failed to see and avoid the other aircraft.”14 This incident was chillingly similar to what would take place over San Diego nine years . Lee H. Johnson, La Jolla Instead of immediately notifying either aircraft of an impending collision, nineteen seconds after the alarm Miramar reportedly only advised Cessna N7711G that there was “traffic in your vicinity, a PSA jet has you in sight [which was erroneous], he’s descending for Lindbergh.” Neither Boswell nor Kazy acknowledged the transmission. Aircraft similar to PSA Boeing that crashed in North Park. So was San Diego Police Department (SDPD) Deputy Chief Duke Nyhus who directed the officers and civilians who bravely climbed into burning houses to look for victims. Without informing Miramar, its heading had changed from 70° to 90° due east, which placed it directly in the path of the rapidly descending Boeing jetliner.37 While PSA Flight 182’s deck crew could monitor both Miramar and Lindbergh Field’s control tower transmissions, the Cessna’s on-board radio was only tuned to the Miramar air traffic controllers’ transmissions. Peering through his aircraft’s narrow windshield, at 09:00:21 Flight Officer Fox informed Captain McFeron, “Got ‘em,” after which he radioed Miramar, “Traffic in sight.”24 Miramar then directed Captain McFeron to “maintain visual separation” from any approaching air traffic, and to contact Lindbergh Field’s control tower that he was beginning his final approach.25, It is important to note that to “maintain visual separation” meant that, despite ground radar-based controllers who could provide them with either vertical or lateral separation criteria, the burden of maintaining separation was solely on Captain McFeron and his flight crew.

The PSA crash would test his endurance. Expanded and relocated adjacent to the present Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, it is now known as the Southern California Terminal Radar Approach Control or TRACON.3, Because it was a clear Santa Ana wind morning, Miramar directed Captain McFeron to switch from Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) to Visual Flight Rules (VRF) procedures, and to begin his descent from 11,000 to 7,000 feet.4 Miramar’s direction to utilize Visual Flight.

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