A Ukranian pilot for AtlasGlobal is being called a hero for landing a plane which was severely damaged in a hail storm.
The Airbus A320 was flying from Istanbul, Turkey to Erkan, Cyprus when the windshield and nose were destroyed by “giant hailstones“, according to The Telegraph.
Captain Alexander Akopov was able to successfully land the plane which had 127 tourists onboard. Akopov has since “been awarded Ukraine’s Order for Courage.”
The incident took place soon after the plane took off. At 1,300 meters above ground the plane was hit by hail the size of golf balls. Damage to the windshield left the pilots unable to see.
Akopov then decided to turn around and head back to Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport to try to land.
The Telegraph mentions that, “In a video taken of the landing, employees at the airport are heard saying: It won’t be able to land, it won’t land.”
When the plane safely landed, it “was greeted by applause from waiting emergency services.”
Find out more from The Telegraph here.