ISTANBUL (News.am) — Incredible footage has emerged of a hero pilot’s heart-stopping emergency landing as he flew completely blind to bring 127 tourists safely to earth after golf-ball-sized hailstones shattered the windscreen of his severely damaged jet.
Captain Alexander Akopov, who works for the Turkish company, AtlasGlobal, was awarded the Ukrainian Order For Courage after landing the hail-damaged passenger plane at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport during a fierce storm in Turkey on Thursday, July 27.
He saved the lives of 121 passengers and 6 crew members by landing the Airbus A320 after unforgiving winds, rain and hail pummeled the jet’s nose and windscreen.
A video of the landing shows the red and white jet bouncing down the runway as the pilot rushes to get his passengers safely on the ground.
Passengers can be heard crying and praying as the damaged plane veered towards the ground.
Someone behind the camera on the ground can be heard saying: ‘He won’t do it, he won’t do it.’