About 0925 Pacific standard time on March 1, 1978, Continental Air Lines, Inc., Flight 603 overran the departure end of runway 6R at Los Angeles International Airport, California, following a rejected takeoff. As the aircraft departed the wet, load-bearing surface of the runway, the left main landing gear collapsed and fire erupted from the left wing area. The aircraft slid to a stop about 664 feet from the departure end of the runway. The left side of the aircraft was destroyed. Of the 184 passengers, 2 infants, and 14 crewmembers aboard, 2 passengers were killed and 28 passengers and 3 crewmembers were seriously injured during the evacuation of the aircraft. The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause of the accident was the sequential failure of two tires on the left main landing gear and the resultant failure of another tire on the same landing gear at a critical time during the takeoff roll. These failures resulted in the captain's decision to reject the takeoff. Contributing to the accident was the cumulative effect of the partial loss of aircraft braking because of the failed tires and the reduced braking friction achievable on the wet runway surface which increased the accelerate-stop distance to a value greater than the available runway length. These factors prevented the captain from stopping the aircraft within the runway confines. The failure of the left main landing gear and the consequent rupture of the left wing fuel tanks resulted in an intense fire which added to the severity of the accident.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Paper copy also available on subscription, North American Continent price $40.00/year; all others write for quote.
  • Corporate Authors:

    National Transportation Safety Board

    Bureau of Accident Investigation, 800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20594
  • Publication Date: 1979-1-25

Media Info

  • Pagination: 51 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00191508
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NTSB/AAR-79/1
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 26 1979 12:00AM