A hero pilot has saved the lives of 127 passengers by safely landing his hail-damaged plane in conditions of near-blindness.
A severe hailstorm cracked Captain Alexander Akopov’s plane’s windscreen and nose, disabling the autopilot and leaving him and his co-pilot unable to see through the windscreen.
Captain Akopov was thus forced to make an emergency landing in treacherous conditions at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport on Thursday, July 27.
For his brave and successful landing of the Airbus A320, he has been awarded the Ukrainian “Order For Courage.”
Footage of the hair-raising incident has surfaced online. It first shows the plane speeding towards the ground and then the situation inside the plane.
Passengers are heard crying and praying for a safe landing. In an interview, Captain Akopov said he and his crew celebrated afterwards as if they had been born again.
I have been flying for 30 years. “Well, did you see the plane landing? Was it okay? The passengers are alive. It is normal. This is our professional reliability.”
Watch the incredible video below.