Hero pilot lands plane after giant hailstones shatter windscreen


A Ukrainian pilot has been awarded a medal for his courage after landing a passenger plane with a shattered windscreen after giant hailstones damaged the aircraft.

AtlasGlobal captain Alexander Akopov received the Ukrainian Order for Courage in his home country when he safely landed the Airbus A320 in Turkey on Thursday.

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There were 121 passengers and six crew on-board the flight from Istanbul to Erkan, Cyprus, The Independent reports.

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The plane was struck by giant hailstones when bad weather hit Turkey. Photos showed the jet's nose damaged by the golf ball-sized hailstones and the windscreen completely shattered.

In videos posted online, the aircraft is seen landing safely at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport.

The Daily Telegraph reports that upon landing Capt. Akopov said: "I have been flying for 30 years. Well, did you see the plane landing? Was it OK? The passengers are alive. It is normal. This is our professional reliability.