Friday, 14 August 2020 03:07
Regarding Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) Flight 182 FeaturedWritten by Nicole Strickland
Regarding Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) Flight 182
I had an inkling to visit the eternal resting spot of PSA Flight 182 the other day, a site that I have been to many times; a site that every San Diegan knows about; a site where I have cried, mourned and remembered the lost; a site that I think about on a daily basis.
On an unusually warm September morning in 1978, an unfathomable air tragedy occurred in the quiet neighborhood of North Park, San Diego. As PSA Flight 182 was about three miles east of Lindbergh field after traveling from Los Angeles via Sacramento, it collided with a Cessna at 2,600 feet above the ground. Both aircrafts fell rapidly and upon their inevitable impact, killed every soul aboard and seven on the ground. At the time, it was the worst air disaster in US history and the most searing tragedy in America's Finest City.
My connection to this flight was sealed long before I was born as my mom was pregnant with me by one month when it occurred. My mom even flew PSA 182 to San Diego when she lived in Los Angeles in the 70s. Several of my maternal relatives lived less than 1/2 mile from the crash site at the time of the incident - and survived. As a young child, I flew PSA a few times with very fond memories. I loved sitting in the red, flowered seats and enjoyed receiving my PSA wings pin from the stewardesses. For sure, PSA lost its smile the day one of its planes (N533PS) fell from the sky.
In my own way, I have honored this flight and the people aboard and on the ground, many times. I have extended my hand to those who may still need help finding their way home. Many of them have and for those that haven't, I hope they do soon. I hope they know how much they're loved and remembered. I hope they know that their legacies aren't forgotten and live on in every plane that flies the skies.
As a paranormal investigator and researcher, I don't shy away from sharing my experiences with the afterlife, as I have had many profound experiences. However, I am careful when I do, so that I keep their integrity intact and don't exploit them. I will say that I have had many beautiful spiritual experiences at the intersection of Dwight and Nile streets where PSA 182 met its fate.
I cannot fathom what it was like in the 15 seconds or so when PSA 182 and the cessna entered a free-fall from the sky. I hope the fear was overshadowed by hope; holding onto the conviction that they might make it and survive. As they came closer to slipping the surly bonds of earth, they collectively braced themselves and loved each other in those last seconds in the physical. Then, in just an instant, they landed in the lap of God.
The iconic photo showing the plane's - and its many souls' - final moments is a widely distributed photo on the Internet. Many have seen it. Many have not. Out of respect, I am not depicting it here in this blog but it's available for those who wish to see it. Viewing it, showcases that, 1) life can change in an instant, so love yourself and love those around you and 2) to remind myself and others that the legacies of those aircrafts and the beautiful souls aboard and on the ground live on in our hearts, our memories and the soul of San Diego and beyond.
A memorial plaque sits in front of the library in North Park. There is a commemorative ceremony each year on September 25th to honor those who transitioned to the stars at 9:02 am.
Published in History and Places
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