• Kyodo

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A Japan Airlines aircraft nearly tried to take off from a taxiway at Singapore’s Changi Airport on July 12 as pilots mistakenly thought the Boeing 767 jet was on a runway, an act that could have led to a crash with other planes, JAL said Tuesday.

The aircraft, JAL flight 38 bound for Tokyo’s Haneda airport, gathered speed to take off for a few seconds in the early hours of the day, although the act was prohibited.

The incident did not cause any injuries to the 208 passengers and crew members on board. There were no other aircraft on the taxiway at the time.

The 58-year-old captain and a 50-year-old copilot of the aircraft failed to report the incident to JAL. The airline learned of it following a report from Singaporean authorities, the company said.

JAL suspended the two from working aboard aircraft and is considering punishing them, the company said, adding that the pilots did not think the incident was something worth reporting.

On July 12, the plane received clearance for takeoff from the airport traffic controller when it was running near the end of a taxiway, located parallel to a runway, about 25 minutes behind schedule, according to JAL.

The pilots misunderstood that they were at the end of a runway, and ran for a few seconds using takeoff thrust. But since the captain realized that the plane was running on the taxiway and after receiving an order to stop from the controller, the aircraft put on the brakes, JAL said.

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