Date: March 01, 1978
Time: 09:25
Location: LAX, Los Angeles, California
Operator: Continental Airlines
Flight #: 603
Route: Los Angeles - Honolulu
AC Type: McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10
Registration: N68045
cn / ln: 46904
Aboard: 200   (passengers:186  crew:14)
Fatalities: 2   (passengers:2  crew:0)
Ground: 0
Summary: While approaching V1 speed on takeoff, a loud bang was heard followed by shaking of the aircraft. The crew decided to abort the takeoff. With the end of the runway approaching, the captain steered the aircraft off the runway to the right. The landing gear failed and resulted in a fire. The plane slid for approximately 650 feet and came to rest 40 feet right of the runway centerline. Several passengers not heeding the warnings of the stewardess exited onto the wing and fell into the fire. Failure of two tires on the left main landing gear resulting in failure of a third tire during a critical point in the takeoff. This was to be pilot Gene Hershe's last flight before retiring.

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