On August 31st 1986 Aeromexico flight 498, a DC-9-32, with Mexican registration XA-JED collided midair over the residential area of Cerritos California while descending to Los Angeles Int. with a Piper PA Cherokee. All 64 on board were killed plus 15 more in the ground. AM 498 departed Mexico City for an scheduled flight to LAX with intermediate stops at GDL and TIJ. While on descend and while being directed by the ATC the Piper PA struck AM 498 in the tail separating the whole section from the fuselage, the DC-9 fell down in an inverted position during a breathless minute until it finally crashed in a residential area. Also all three ocupants on the Piper PA where killed.
The Piper PA enter without authorization to the LAX terminal area, the 57 year old pilot was flying on VFR with his wife and daughter. AM 498 was on IFR and was requested by ATC to reduce speed just moments before the crashed ocurred. It was shown that the see and avoid concept for AM 498 could have not been used since the Piper PA was only for a few seconds on the crew sight.
During the investigation and the trial Aeromexico was not found guilty of any single item, becoming the first foreign carrier of not having any responsabilities in a crash.
This is just a little tribute to the people who died today 15 years ago and also to all the people in Aeromexico who worked so hard and with so much effort to probe the innocence of the crew members and the system of a whole company.