Flight Crew make emergency landing in extreme weather in Istanbul

Thursday last week an Atlas Global A320 took off from Istanbul Airport in Turkey into a thunderstorm. The aircraft became damaged immediately after take off with the radome (nose of the aircraft that contains some aircraft systems including the weather radar) and windscreens damaged and some aircraft systems including the autopilot disabled.

The windscreen was so badly cracked neither pilot could see out. The flight crew were given permission to land at Ataturk Airport even though it was currently closed due to the weather overhead the airport.

Normally in this situation the crew would set the aircraft up for an automatic autopilot landing, but in this case the autopilot was not available so Captain Alexander Akopov had to land the aircraft with sole use of his instruments.

Normally the approach would be conducted on instruments with the final part of the landing (anything from 1000ft to the runway) flown manually with the pilot looking outside. In this case he would of used the radio altimeter to gauge when to flare the aircraft and the ILS localiser indications to attempt to maintain the centre line of the runway.

A successful landing was made and all 121 passengers and 6 crew members were unharmed. The Captain and his crew were congratulated by other airline crews who went onboard to shake their hands.

An image of the extensive damage to the aircraft is above. Click on the image to enlarge the image and see the state of the windscreen too! The Captain has been awarded the Ukrainian Order of Courage by the Ukrainian Government and the President Petro Poroshenko had personally called the Captain to congratulate him on the successful landing.
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