A hero pilot has saved the lives of 127 passengers by safely landing his hail-damaged plane in conditions of near-blindness.

A severe hailstorm cracked Captain Alexander Akopov’s plane’s windscreen and nose, disabling the autopilot and leaving him and his co-pilot unable to see through the windscreen. Captain Akopov was thus forced to make an emergency landing in treacherous conditions at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport on Thursday, July 27.

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For his brave and successful landing of the Airbus A320, he has been awarded the Ukrainian “Order For Courage.” Footage of the hair-raising incident has surfaced online. It first shows the plane speeding towards the ground and then the situation inside the plane.

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