Event Details

Title:Midair collision, Pacific Southwest Airlines, Inc., Boeing 727-214, N533PS, Flight 182, Gibbs Flite Center, Inc., Cessna 172, N7711G, San Diego, California, September 25, 1978
Micro summary:This Boeing 727-214 struck a Cessna 172 while in approach, killing the occupants of all airplanes as well as several people on the ground.
Event Time:1978-09-25 at 0901:47 PDT
File Name:1978-09-25-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:NTSB-AAR-79-5
Site of event:3 nm northeast of Lindbergh Field, San Diego
Latitude/Longitude:N3245' W11708'
First AirplaneSecond Airplane
Departure:Sacramento International Airport, Sacramento, California, USAMontgomery Field, San Diego, California, USA
Destination:Little Falls/Morrison County Airport-Lindbergh Field, Little Falls, Minnessota, USAMontgomery Field Airport, San Diego, California, USA
Airplane Type(s):Boeing 727-214Cessna 172
Flight Phase:ApproachClimb
Operator(s):Pacific Southwest AirlinesPrivate
Type of flight:RevenuePrivate
Serious Injuries:00
Other Injuries:160
Executive Summary:About 0901:47 PST, 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.

The Cessna was under the control of San Diego approach control and was climbing on a northeast heading. Flight 182 was making a visual approach to runway 27 at Lindbergh Field and had been advised of the location of the Cessna by the approach controller. The flightcrew told the approach controller that they had the traffic in sight and were instructed to maintain visual separation from the Cessna and to contact the Lindbergh Tower. Flight 182 contacted the tower on its downwind leg and 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 the approach. The aircraft collided near 2,600 ft m.s.l. and fell to the ground in a residential area. Both occupants of the Cessna were killed; 135 persons on board the Boeing 727 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 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.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Airspace - Air Traffic Control
Operations - Airspace - Mid-Air Collision
Operations - Airspace - See & avoid
Consequence - Hull Loss
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