A Ukrainian pilot has been awarded Ukraine’s Order for Courage award this past week after safely landing a packed plane after its windshield was smashed by huge balls of hail.
Capt. Alexander Akopov’s heroic ride began just shortly after takeoff Thursday as the AtlasGlobal-operated Airbus A320 departed Istanbul, Turkey, and headed to Erkan, Cyprus.
After ascending to about 4,000 feet, the 127 passenger jet began getting hit by balls of hail causing the windshield to shatter.
Akopov was cleared from Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport to land, despite airport employees telling him he wouldn’t be able to make the descent because the air-mat was closed due to the storm.
The plane made a bumpy landing but nobody on board was injured.
Akopov said their locator did not show the horrendous weather condition so they had no idea it was going to happen. He expressed that it was hard, but the main thing is “that people are alive.”
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