5. PSA Flight 182 departed Sacramento on the morning of September 25, 1978 with 135 aboard bound for San Diego via Los Angels. On approach to SAN airport the 727 was ordered to maintaion visual separation with a Cessna 172 also in the airspace. Flight 182's pilots, however, lost sight of the smaller plane and overtook the Cessna directly from behind at 2.6k ft (790 m). Hans Wendt captured the aftermath of the collision in this photo as the 727 fell to earth with its wing shatterd and ablaze. The steep impact was ferocious, compressing the aircraft's fuselage into a 12 ft x 6 ft (4 m x 2m) area and killing all aboard.
4. JAL 123 On august 12, 1985 an amateur photographer captured this image of japan Airlines Flight 123 shortly after it lost its vertical stabilizer. The 747SR had been in toute from Tokyo to Osaka when its bulkhead exploded due to a faulty tailstrike repair 7 years earlier. All control surfaces were rendered non-functional; however the pilots managed to keep the plane aloft for 32 minutes. The aircraft eventually clipped a ledge near Mount Osutaka and crashed into the forest at 5k feet (1.5km) with 524 aboard. Only 4 passengers seated in the rear of the airplane survived the crash... but off-duty flight attendant Yumi Ochiai would recall hearing moaning from others that slowly died away in the night.
3. AeroMexico 498 Aeromexico Flight 498 departed Tijuana, Mexico on the morning of Auguest 31. 1986 with 64 aboard bound for Los Angeles. This photo seized by the NTSB would be the last image of the plane caught before it crashed into Cerritos, California. while descending tnto LAX airport at 6.5k ft (2km), the DC-9 collided with a Piper PA-28 that entered the airspace without permission. The Piper tore off the DC-9's stabilizers and was sheared in half, decapitating the pilot and 2 passengers with no control surfaces, the Aeromexico flight inverted on its back, entered a dive and plummeted into the neighborhood below
2. AA 191 On May 25, 1979 Michael Laughlin took these photos of American Airlines flight 181 from the observation deck of 0'Hare Airport in Chicago. The Dc-10 had entered an unrecovertable left back before rolling over, plummeting into ground, and igniting in a huge fireball. Control of the aircraft was lost when the left hand engine separated and flipped over the wing on takeoff rotation. The engine's pylon and connectiong bolts had been damaged several months earlier by improper AA maintenance procedures. all 271 people aboard the aircraft perished, making the crash the deadliest aviation accident in American histroy.
1. BOAC 911 On the afternoon of march 5, 1966 BOAC Speedbird 911 departed Tokyo on the last leg of its around-the-world flight to Hong Kong. With clear skies in the area, the 707's pilots requested a sightseeing detour on departure to fly around Mount Fuji. Near the mountaion withnesses reported seeing BOAC 911 suddenly begin trailing white vapor at flight level of 16k ft (4.4 km). A member of the japanese Self-Defense Force then took this photograph of the aircraft falling and disintegrating in a flat-spin. Blurred images from an 8mm camera in the wreckage suggest a violent mountaion air wave broke-up the 707, killing all 124 aboard.