Tuesday, May 3, 2016

PSA Flight 182 to be revisited at Grossmont College

Grossmont College history instructor Martin Ennis is presenting an evening of film, lecture and discussion 6-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, about PSA Flight 182, the Sept. 25, 1978 midair collision in San Diego that killed 144 people and scattered wreckage across North Park.

It is still the deadliest air crash in the history of California and was the deadliest in the country at the time. All 135 people aboard the PSA Boeing 727-214 perished along with two in the Cessna and seven people on the ground. Nearly two dozen homes were damaged or destroyed.

"It was the worst day in San Diego history and most of my students are too young to know anything about the devastation that rained down from the skies that day," said Ennis, who has arranged for crash victim relatives, first responders and witnesses to the tragedy to be on hand at the Griffin Gate presenation to give firsthand accounts of what they saw and experienced.

The event is free and open to the public.

Excerpts from two films, "Return to Dwight and Nile," and "Air Disasters: Collision Over California," will be shown.

  • A speakers panel will feature:
  •  Fred Hall, a PSA executive who knew the crew and was on the scene of the crash.
  •  Myra Sulit Pelowski, who lost her brother in the crash. He was flying to attend his first day at UC San Diego and never made it.
  •  Luisa Lococo, who lost her mother in the crash.
  •  John Mercer, a rookie police officer who spent 12 hours at the site.
  •  Bill Nemec, another police officer who was at the crash site.
  •  Michael Bagnos, a 14-year-old St. Augustine High School student at the time he witnessed the crash and the aftermath. He still lives in the same home, four blocks away from the crash site.
  •  Bryan Swopes, an aviation expert who wrote an article about the crash
  • Grossmont College is at 8800 Grossmont College Drive in El Cajon.

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