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Pilot Lands Airbus 'Blind' After Hail Shatters Windshield (Video)

Image: Pilot Lands Airbus 'Blind' After Hail Shatters Windshield (Video)

(Screengrab of Twitter post/@Boeingpro)

By    |   Tuesday, 01 Aug 2017 08:56 AM

A pilot landed his damaged Airbus A320 "blind" in Turkey last week after hailstones shattered the windshield and made it impossible to see. News accounts of Thursday’s harrowing landing were just emerging although a video of it had already received 5.6 million views on Facebook.

Capt. Alexander Akopov was hailed as a hero after he managed to land the aircraft with 121 on board at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul after a heavy hailstorm in Turkey damaged the plane and disabled the autopilot system, The Independent reported. The hailstones were described as the size of eggs.

The storm caved in the plane's nose and disabled the aircraft's autopilot, SkyNews reported.

"I have been flying for 30 years," Akopov told local media, per The Independent. "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 airplane's nose suffered significant damage at 4,300 feet in the air after takeoff from the hailstorm. Akopov decided to turn the aircraft around and attempt to land.

The video of the landing was made by Oleg Lungul, an engineer at Ataturk Airport.

Akopov received Ukraine's Order for Courage for returning the airplane safely back to the airport.

Pilots are trained to be able to make "instrument landings" when their visibility is impacted for whatever reason, depending on instruments to gauge their approach along with transmitted radio signals from the airport.

The ground equipment of instrument landing systems at airports send out two directional radio beams from either side of the runway's center line, Britannica.com noted.

The radio signals are picked up by instruments on the airplane's flight deck, processed and converted into directional and altitude information the pilots can use the land aircraft on the runway.

During the dramatic landing, Ataturk Airport was closed to other flights due to bad weather, SkyNews said.

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A pilot landed his damaged Airbus A320 "blind" in Turkey last week after hailstones shattered the windshield and made it impossible to see. News accounts of Thursday’s harrowing landing were just emerging although a video of it had already received 5.6 million views on Facebook.
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Tuesday, 01 Aug 2017 08:56 AM
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