In a sensational development, it has emerged that the Jet Airways pilots of Riyadh-Mumbai flight had attempted the take-off from a taxiway at the Saudi airport. The said take off was later aborted and close to 150 passengers had to be evacuated through emergency exits.
The aviation watchdog DGCA has suspended the flying licence of both the pilots. A taxiway is usually parallel to the runway and connects tarmac to the the airport.
As reported by Janta Ka Reporter on 3 August, as many as 148 people on board the Mumbai-bound Jet Airways flight had escaped unhurt after the aircraft went off the runway following an aborted take off from there.
According to new reports, the pilots decided to take off the flight at midnight from the taxiway but had to abort the take off after they were informed about about a “barrier” on the runway. The plane had later veered off due to sudden stopping as it was accelerating at 100 knots.
“The DGCA has suspended flying licence of both the pilots involved in runway excursion incident at Riyadh, pending investigation,” a senior DGCA official was quoted by PTI.
Meanwhile, the Saudi Aviation Investigation Bureau too issued a press statement confirming that Jet Airways Boeing B737, VTJFS aircraft had indeed chosen to take off from a taxiway.
The statement by SAIB said, “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 aircraft accelerated with full take off power and exceeded the taxiway onto an unpaved area, ending up close to the exit of taxiway (GF), north of taxiway (K).”
The AIB is conducting a safety probe into the incident along with India’s Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau.
Follow up Press Release for Jet Airways flight incident at King Khalid International Airport (KKIA) Taxiway pic.twitter.com/vLbD3bWdT6
— مكتب تحقيقات الطيران (@AIB_KSA) August 5, 2018
Jet Airways had tweeted soon after incident, “Our flight 9W523 with 142 guests and 7 crew members from Riyadh to Mumbai of 3rd August aborted takeoff and departed the runway at Riyadh Airport. All our guests and crew have been evacuated safely with no reported injuries.”
Its subsequent tweet had read, “Currently the event involving flight 9W 523 is being investigated by the local regulatory authorities and our teams are providing full co-operation as necessary. At Jet Airways the safety of our guests and crew is of paramount importance.”