“The Nightmare of Flight 498” – NBC Los Angeles

on Aug31
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You can watch “The Nightmare of Flight 498” in the video player above or stream it on your big screen on the NBCLA app on Roku, Fire TV and Apple TV.

It was Labor Day weekend in 1986, when Aeroméxico flight 498 and a small Piper plane collided in the sky over Cerritos.

The mid-air collision sent both planes crashing to the ground. The Piper crashed onto an empty playground at Cerritos Elementary School. The Aeroméxico flight crashed onto a Cerritos neighborhood, killing all 64 people on board and 15 people on the ground. The three people onboard the Piper were also killed.

NBCLA reporter Hetty Chang lived in the Cerritos neighborhood where the Aeroméxico flight crashed. She witnessed the aftermath, devastation and media coverage that landed in her childhood neighborhood. The events and stories that followed influenced Hetty to pursue a career in journalism. 

“The Nightmare of Flight 498” revisits the plane crash through Hetty’s childhood memories and her experience as journalist today. She interviews her parents, childhood neighborhood friend and some of the first responders at the crash site. They are all connected by the crash of flight 498.

Los Angeles County rescue personnel work within the debris field after mid-air collision with Aeromexico Flight 498 and Piper Archer aircraft, August 31,1986 in Cerritos, California. (Photo by Getty Images/Bob Riha, Jr.)

A DC-9 aircraft crashed into the Los Angeles suburb homes killing 67 on both aircraft and 15 additional people on the ground. (Photo by Getty Images/Bob Riha, Jr.)

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