1986 Aeroméxico 498 Crash Anniversary
Saturday, 31 August 2019
Cerritos - Los Angeles County
Organizer: Kim Patrick Noyes
The 1986 Cerritos midair collision was a plane crash that occurred in southern California over the Los Angeles suburb of Cerritos on Sunday, August 31, 1986. Aeroméxico Flight 498, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9, was clipped in the tail section by N4891F, a Piper PA-28-181 Archer owned by the Kramer family, while descending into Los Angeles International Airport, killing all 67 on both aircraft and an additional fifteen on the ground. Eight on the ground also sustained minor injuries from the midday crash.
Blame was allocated equally between the Federal Aviation Administration and the pilot of the Piper. No fault was found with the DC-9 or the actions of its crew.
On Sunday, August 31, 1986 at about 11:46 am PDT, Flight 498 began its descent into Los Angeles with 58 passengers and six crew members on board. At 11:52 am, the Piper's engine collided with the left horizontal stabilizer of the DC-9, shearing off the top of the Piper's cockpit and decapitating Kramer and both of his passengers. The heavily damaged Piper fell onto an empty playground at Cerritos Elementary School.
The DC-9, with all of its horizontal stabilizer and most of its vertical stabilizer torn off, inverted and immediately entered a dive. It slammed into a residential neighborhood at Holmes Avenue and Reva Circle in Cerritos, crashing into the backyard of a house at 13426 Ashworth Place, exploding on impact. The explosion scattered the DC-9's wreckage across Holmes Avenue and onto Carmenita Road, destroying four other houses and damaging seven more. All 64 passengers and crew on board the DC-9 were killed, and fifteen people on the ground; a fire added to the damage.
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