Nation: Death over San Diego

A freakish collision kills 150 — even when everybody is following the rules

"Tower, we're going down. This is PSA." That terse message from Pacific Southwest Airlines Captain James McFeron was delivered in the flat, cool tones cultivated by professional pilots. It conveyed no more emotion than McFeron had expressed a few moments before in asking for clearance to land. Yet now his 66-ton Boeing 727 jetliner with 135 "souls on board," according to the jargon of the aviation industry, was hurtling out of control at 280 m.p.h. toward San Diego's residential North Park...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!