The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has suspended the flying licence of two Jet Airways' pilots for attempting to take off an aircraft from a taxiway parallel to the runway - an attempt that put the lives of 148 people on board at risk. The incident happened at Riyadh airport in Saudi Arabia on August 3.
Following the mess, Saudi aviation body Aviation Investigation Bureau (AIB) and its Indian counterpart Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) started an investigation into the matter.
The flight was bound for Mumbai from Saudi Arabia's Riyadh International Airport.
In a press statement issued on Monday, AIB said that the Boeing 737 aircraft aborted the take-off on a taxiway that ran parallel to the runway and in the process overshot the taxiway at the King Khalid International Airport.
A taxiway is used by an aircraft to facilitate its movement between the runway and parking area.
"Initial factual information confirmed that the aircraft attempted to take off from taxiway (K) parallel to take off designated runway (R33) while the visibility was high and there was no obstacle of FOD (foreign object) on the taxiway," the AIB said in its statement.
According to the Saudi Aviation Investigation Bureau, the aircraft accelerated with full take-off power and exceeded the taxiway onto an unpaved area, ending up close to the exit of taxiway (G4), north of taxiway (K).
A senior official of India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Monday said that the flying licence of both the pilots "involved in runway excursion incident at Riyadh" has been suspended, pending investigation.
Jet Airways too issued statement saying that 'it is in contact with the DGCA and has extended all co-operation with regard to the said incident. The airline will continue to adhere to all requirements as laid down by the regulator'.
A DGCA official had earlier said that the pilots aborted the take-off after they were informed of a "barrier" on the runway. The aircraft was taxiing at a speed of 100 knots and it veered off the runway due to sudden stopping, the official had said.
(With inputs from PTI)