Prohibited from visiting Los Angeles’ radar approach center, jurors deciding the responsibility for the 1986 midair collision over Cerritos on Wednesday viewed a videotape prepared by the Federal Aviation Administration to refute assertions that an air traffic controller was to blame for the tragedy.
The 1-minute, 50-second tape was played in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles after Federal Judge David V. Kenyon ruled out a visit to the radar center at Los Angeles International Airport that was intended to give the jury a first-hand look at the work of controllers.
In the tape, controller Linda DiCicco is shown scanning her radar scope, issuing instructions to jets approaching LAX, typing data into a computer and performing other duties.
DiCicco was in the seat that controller Walter White occupied on Aug. 31, 1986, when a small Piper Archer slammed into an Aeromexico DC-9, killing 82 people. Plaintiffs’ lawyers contend that White, who is now an FAA supervisor at Santa Barbara’s airport, was mainly responsible because he did not see the small plane, although computer data showed that it was visible on his radar scope.