In the PSA 182 crash in San Diego in 1978, a 727 collided in mid-air with a Cessna air craft and took a 19-second plunge to the earth.
The captain warned over the cabin intercom: “Brace yourself!” This was about three seconds before the plane hit a San Diego neighbourhood nose first, instantly killing all 135 on board and seven people on the ground. It’s amazing how the pilot had the presence of mind to think about the passengers at that point. A few seconds earlier, he radioed air traffic control, saying: “Tower, we’re going down".
An alert professional photographer who was taking photos of an event at a nearby service station heard the collision of the two aircraft and snapped a couple pictures of the 727 diving to the ground. The second photo was taken a few seconds after the first.
This was in 1978, can you imagine how strong communcation is now?