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Pilot Lands Plane 'Blind' In Turkey During Mammoth Storm

It wasn't just air traffic that was bought to a standstill.

01/08/2017 1:23 PM AEST | Updated 01/08/2017 1:24 PM AEST

A pilot has landed a plane carrying 127 people in Turkey amid a massive storm.

Captain Alexander Akopov, a pilot for the Turkish airline AtlasGlobal, managed to navigate the golf ball-sized hailstones, heavy rain and violent winds to land the A320 at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport last Thursday.

The storm hit the aircraft flying from Istanbul to Northern Cyprus just 10 minutes after take-off. Akopov gained permission to land at Ataturk, despite the airport being closed to other flights.

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Hail the size of golf balls damaged the aircraft's windscreen.

The hailstones caused severe damage to the plane's windscreeen, which meant Akopov managed the landing with heavily reduced vision. The aircraft's nose was also damaged in the storm.

In the aftermath of the event, Akopov, a Ukrainian national, was awarded the Ukrainian 'Order For Courage' by President Petro Poroshenko for his actions during the mid-air crisis.

The video shows the plane coming to a wobbly landing on the tarmac, and passengers can be heard inside the aircraft screaming and shouting.

The storm was so severe that 16 other flights were rerouted from Ataturk airport, while traffic in Istanbul came to halt amid flash flooding, where some vehicles, including buses, were submerged in the water.

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A public bus trapped on a flooded road in Istanbul.

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Heavy rainfall saw flash flooding cross the city.

Reuters reports that at least two people were injured in the storm, when the wall of an old cemetery collapsed. Acrane near the southern entrance to the Bosphorous also fell and caused an explosion.

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A crane at Haydarpasa Port, near the Bosphorous collapsed during the storm.

This was the second July storm to disrupt traffic in Istanbul. On July 18, a similar storm caused flash flooding that saw traffic, subway lines and other forms of public transport come to a standstill.

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