The Ukranian captain of a Turkish airline has been honoured for bringing his aircraft down safely after it was badly damaged in a storm.
Alexander Akopov operated the Airbus A320 ‘blind’ after the windscreen was shattered by giant hailstones the size of golf balls.
The Atlasglobal flight was flying from Istanbul to Erkan in Cyprus with 127 tourists on board when it flew through the severe storms last week.
With the nose cone badly damaged and windscreen smashed shortly after take off Akopov decided to turn the flight around.
— Murad Çobanoğlu (@muradcobanoglu) August 1, 2017
He has been awarded Ukraine’s Order for Courage after successfully landing the aircraft at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport.
In a video of the landing, employees at the airport are heard saying: “It won’t be able to land, it won’t land.”
Another video filmed inside the cabin showed passengers gripping the seats in front as the aircraft endured a bumpy approach. Other fliers can be heard screaming.
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