SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — September 25, 1978 is a date imprinted in the memories of many San Diegans. Those that lived here – and elsewhere – remember the shocking images of plane wreckage on fire and homes ablaze following the crash of PSA Flight 182, which was 40 years ago Tuesday.
At 9:01 a.m. that Monday morning, a Pacific Southwest Airlines commercial airliner headed for Lindbergh Field collided with a private Cessna in the sky over San Diego. The wreckage and debris from the mid-air crash fell into the North Park neighborhood.
All 135 people aboard Flight 182 and two aboard the Cessna were killed along with seven people on the ground, including two children. Nine people on the ground were also injured.
Nearly two dozen homes were destroyed by the falling debris and impact of the plane. As the fires on the ground raged, large plumes of smoke could be seen in nearby areas.
At the time, the crash was the largest aviation disaster in U.S. history, according to the San Diego Police Historical Association.
News 8 personnel rushed to the scene and continued reporting on the aftermath of the tragic crash for days, months and years to come.
On this 40th anniversary of the crash of PSA Flight 182, News 8 remembers the 144 victims and sends continued condolences to the families and friends who lost their loved ones.
Here are some clips of the News 8 coverage from September 1978.
The day after the crash of PSA Flight 182 in 1978 in North Park, News 8's Cathy Clark spoke to neighbors who were just coming to terms with what had happened in their quiet San Diego neighborhood.
A day after the tragic crash of PSA Flight 182 in North Park, News 8's Jesse Macias reported from the PSA headquarters in San Diego. Employees were volunteering their time to field calls from around the world from people trying to locate their loved ones following the crash.
Just days after the tragedy involving a PSA jetliner and a Cessna that collided over North Park, San Diego, News 8's Doug McAllister reported on the initial findings by investigators. While early reports speculated the aircraft had collided head-on, this report explains what authorities believed how the crash actually occurred.
On September 29, 1978, memorials for the victims of the tragic PSA Flight 182 crash began.
News 8's cameras were rolling at Sunset Cliffs where friends and family eulogized San Diego lifeguard Daniel Urdahl. Later in the day at Felicita Park a memorial was held for PSA pilot and Escondido resident James "Jim" McFeron, with about 200 friends and relatives in attendance.
A memorial for Marine Sergeant David Lee Boswell was also held that day in Oceanside. Boswell was aboard the Cessna that collided with the PSA jet.
WARNING: The raw footage in the clips below was captured in the hours immediately following the crash, it has been edited to remove sensitive images but may be disturbing to some viewers.
This raw video was shot as News 8 reporters and photographers made their way to North Park to the scene of the PSA Flight 182 crash.
News 8's aerial footage from September 25, 1978 shows the immediate aftermath after PSA Flight 182 crashed in North Park San Diego.
A month after the tragic mid-air collision that claimed the lives of 144 people, News 8 returned to the area where the debris of PSA Flight 182. Reporter Doug McAllister shared that 140 of those who perished had been identified by coroners and showed what remained at the scene in North Park, San Diego.