A Turkish Airline plane found itself amid a storm while flying over Turkey on Thursday, and the Ukranian pilot saved the lives of the passengers on board in an entirely blind emergency landing.
Captain Alexander Akopov was flying an Airbus A320 over Turkish grounds when hit by a massive storm and had the windscreen shatter with the hailstones as big as an egg. The pilot was completely blinded by the damaged windscreen yet he managed to save the lives of 121 passengers and the 6 crew members on board, with a very safe landing that he owes to his skills developed by 30 years years of experience.
The torrential downpour and the hailstones had left the passengers in such panic that most had lost the hope of survival. Landing the airplane safely in zero visibility is a remarkable achievement that was applauded by many.
After the landing, the pilot commented, “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. Our locator did not show this weather disaster; this is why it happened. It was hard, but the main thing is that people are alive.”
The pilot had to obtain special permission for landing at the Ataturk Airport even though it was being closed down for other flights due to the weather conditions. Once the plane managed to land, the frightened passengers exhaled in relief and applauded the pilot.
Akopov’s bravery was recognized by the Ukranian president Petro Poroshenko, who awarded him the Order of Courage.
Here is footage of the incredible landing amidst the freak storm.
Source: The Independent