In the moments leading up to the tragic crash of Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) Flight 182 in 1978, a pilot sent a heart-wrenching message to his mother, knowing it might be his last. The crash claimed the lives of 144 people, including passengers, crew members, and individuals on the ground.

On what seemed like a perfect September day in 1978, against the odds of a 1 in 1.2 million chance of a plane crash occurring, tragedy struck as PSA Flight 182 met its fate.

The crash happened in 1978. (SDASM Archives/Flickr)

The tragedy unfolded as air traffic controllers cautioned the crew of the Boeing 727 to remain vigilant of the nearby Cessna aircraft. However, disaster struck when they lost visual contact with the smaller plane. Mistakenly presuming that the smaller aircraft was trailing behind them, the pilots were unaware that it was positioned just below them.

The tragic collision occurred when the Cessna crashed into the right wing of the PSA plane, resulting in a devastating explosion that claimed the lives of pilots Martin Kazy Jr. and David Boswell.

Pacific Southwest Airlines Boeing 727 crash site. (SDASM Archives/Flickr)

Despite the initial impact, the massive Boeing aircraft remained airborne but eventually plummeted to the ground at speeds reaching 300mph.

In the harrowing final moments before the crash, all 135 individuals onboard met their tragic fate, with only four bodies recovered intact.

More than 100 people lost their lives on the fateful day in 1978. (SDASM Archives/Flickr)

As the aircraft descended, Captain James McFeron, 42, instructed passengers to brace themselves for impact. In a poignant message to air traffic controllers, he identified the aircraft and acknowledged the impending disaster with the chilling words, “This is it, baby!”

Amidst the chaos, an unidentified voice, believed to be Captain McFeron, First Officer Robert Eugene Fox, or Flight Engineer Martin J. Wahne, uttered a heartbreaking message to their mother, knowing that their life was about to come to an end.

He says, “Ma, I really like ya.”

terrifying crash webpage
The crash sight resembled something out of a post-apocalyptic film, with many of the dead people’s corpses still in pieces.

“There were just arms, legs, and feet in one alley,” Gary Jaus, who was still a trainee at the San Diego Police Academy, told San Diego Magazine.

“I was not prepared to see a stewardess’s torso slammed against an automobile, but I was used to working at Clairemont Mortuary before I became a police officer.”

There have been reports of more human body parts falling into trees and onto roofs.

About 22 dwellings had been damaged or completely demolished due to the effect, and seven men and women were being slain on the ground.