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India suspends 2 pilots for take-off bid from taxiway in Saudi Arabia

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India's civil aviation regulator has suspended two pilots of a private carrier for a take-off bid from a taxiway at Riyadh airport in Saudi Arabia last week.

"The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has suspended licences of the two pilots of Jet Airways for mistaking the taxiway for runway, which led to the skidding of the Mumbai-bound aircraft on August 3, putting the lives of 148 passengers at risk," sources said Tuesday.

The action came after Saudi Arabia's Aviation Investigation Bureau said in a statement that "the aircraft accelerated with full take-off power and exceeded the taxiway on to an unpaved area ending up close to the exit of taxiway (G4) north of taxiway (K)."

"Fire and rescue teams were rushed to the spot who carried out an emergency evacuation of all passengers and crew. Nobody suffered injuries," it said.

In a statement, Jet Airways had said that it "extended all cooperation with regard to the said incident" to DGCA. "The airline will continue to adhere to all requirements as laid down by the regulator," the airline added.

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