Deregulation changed the state of play in the Californian market, where unregulated intra-state airlines like PSA and Air California had been battling with the regulated airlines since the 1960s. Competition was stronger than ever with new start up airlines and the trunk airlines looking to create West Coast networks where they had previously had none. This would lead to a tempestuous period for Pacific Southwest. Amongst all this it took a punt on a small four engined British airliner.
Prior to the takeover a bad omen of the future under USAir materialised when N350PS, a BAE 146-200 operating flight 1771, one of the PSA Expressway flights, crashed in December 1987. David Burke, a disgruntled ex-USAir employee went aboard the flight, killed the crew and then himself. The aircraft was destroyed when it nosedived into the ground from 23,000 feet killing all 44 aboard. The aircraft had been scheduled to take up the new registration N168US as all the 146s were re-registered with N1**US registrations from late 1987.
The last PSA flight operated on April 8, 1988 and the PSA fleet quickly was replaced by the red stripes of USAir. USAir's tenure on the West Coast was nothing short of a disaster but before we look into that we'll take a look at PSA's competitor AirCal.
Right: Hope springs eternal in this merger timetable
1983. More Orders for BAe 146 soon says Avco. Flight Global
1986. AirCal Orders British Jets to Counter PSA. LA Times
1986. USAir to buy PSA for 400 million. New York Times
1987, Dec. British-Built PSA Aircraft Known for 'Good Track Record'. LA Times
PSA History. PSA History.org
Lehman, William. US Airways. Images of Aviation. Arcadia Publishing