31 Jul 2017

Pilot Makes Amazing ‘Blind Landing’ After Hail Shatters Windscreen and Disables Autopilot

Hail-smashed Plane

A heroic pilot made an amazing blind landing after a hailstorm smashed up the front of his plane, shattering the windscreen and disabling the autopilot.

The trouble started ten minutes into the flight to Erkan, Cyrpus, after the plane flew through a hailstorm and suffered serious damage. Captain Alexander Akopov requested permission to land at Ataturk airport, which was technically closed but allowed the plane to land in emergency conditions.

Video footage taken from the airport shows the plane struggling to maintain balance as it came in to land, and separate footage shows people crying and screaming inside the plane.

A crowd at Ataturk Airport applauded and cheered when the plane landed safely. Capt Akopov, from Ukraine, said he celebrated with another crew member like it was his second birthday when he landed.

‘I have been flying for 30 years,’ he said.

‘It was hard, but the main thing is that people are alive.

‘Well, did you see the plane landing? Was it okay? The passengers are alive. It is normal. This is our professional reliability.’

Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko congratulated Captain Akopov personally after calling him following the emergency landing. He also awarded him the Ukrainian Order of Courage, and the two members of cabin crew were also praised for their bravery.

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