Hero pilot miraculously lands damaged plane through hailstorm

A Ukrainian pilot has been hailed as a hero after landing an aircraft carrying 127 passengers following a torrential hailstorm that left the Airbus A320's nose damaged and the windscreen cracked.

Captain Alexander Akopov, who navigated the AtlasGlobal aircraft to safety last Thursday, has since been awarded the Ukrainian Order For Courage after landing the damaged plane.

Incredible footage of the incident shows the aircraft making a shaky landing at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, but ultimately getting the dozens of terrified tourists grounded safely.

Blustering winds, driving rain and hail the size of golf balls had left the plane with severe damage, according to reports - with its nose caved in, the windscreen partially smashed and his autopilot disabled.

The cracked cockpit windows left Captain Akopov unable to see his approach to land, and an emergency response was ready in case of a crash upon the plane's landing.

However he got everyone down - and upon landing, he got a round of applause from passengers, a phone call from Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko and a national award for his bravery.

Captain Akopov said he was celebrating receiving his Order For Courage as if it were "his second birthday".

A total of 16 other aircraft were told to reroute their flights into the airport on the same day, after rain falling in stair rods caused flashfloods that were at knee-height within just 20 minutes throughout Istanbul.

Ten people were injured in the storm that caused the collapse of 90 roofs and pulled more than 200 trees out of the ground.