July 31, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
Pilot Alexander Akopov, together with crew members, manually landed a passenger liner without the visibility of the front cockpit window. The incident took place on the Turkish airline Atlasglobal in Istanbul on July 27, 2017. On board were 121 passengers of different countries and six crew members. None of the people were hurt in the incident.
In Istanbul last week, there was a hurricane and hail “the size of a chicken egg”. The aircraft was flying from Istanbul to Ercan (Northern Cyprus). At an altitude of 4,000 feet, the plane got caught up in the hurricane; the hail pelting the aircraft, destroying the cockpit window and the nose of the aircraft. The pilot made the decision to turn back.
“We decided to land back in Istanbul. We tipped to the side to see the runway from the side windows. We deliberately took this step,” Akopov said, adding that the airport’s dispatchers accompanied him to land. “Of course, there was fear. But I did not have time to be afraid. It was necessary to do something. I understood that I had to land the plane immediately. “
“I have 31 years of experience, yet nothing like this experience. The second pilot – a great fellow, worked very well. As a result, the landing was, they say, “much better than expected” – everything went even better than we expected. Everyone is alive, no one is hurt. It is most important. They say that the passengers applauded, but at that moment I did not hear this, “Alexander Akopov commented on the landing.
The first thing he did, when the plane was already on the ground, is call his 15-year-old son, who also dreams of becoming a pilot. And Akopov’s own father is also a pilot.
The pilot turned out to be a Ukrainian national, working with the Turkish airline. Peter Poroshenko quickly signed a decree on awarding Akopov with the Order of Courage (when he arrived in Kiev).
After a while it turned out that the “Ukrainian pilot” was a Donetsk citizen, a graduate of Donetsk school No. 70, who worked for a large airline Donbassaero, which in 2013, in order to please the interests of the oligarch Kolomoisky, was declared bankrupt.
The experience of Akopov is over 13908 hours of flying. When it turned out that Alexander Akopov lived and worked in Donetsk – social media came abuzz with criticisms from Ukrainian nationalists.
“Why would a Ukrainian pilot fly to the occupied territory of North Cyprus? How did the plane get there? He shouldn’t be flying in that weather in the first place. How did it happen that the tip of the nose and the windshields are broken off at the side, and everything else is not broken. It’s strange. He worked for another state, and our president awarded a man who did not work for our side. And he flew to the separatist Cyprus!”
Only a Donbass pilot could become a hero and an enemy of the state all in one day.