According to CCTV news channel "Face to Face", on the night of July 15th, 2016, Turkey time, some soldiers of the Turkish military launched a military coup in an attempt to overthrow the current government. That night, the coup soldiers mastered an unknown number of armed helicopters and opened fire on the presidential palace and the police headquarters. The coup d’ é tat once took control of Ankara’s national television station and seized Istanbul airport and other important places by armed forces.

        Previously, everything was working normally at Istanbul Airport in Turkey. Due to the sudden incident, shortly after the coup, a flight CZ679 from China Southern Airlines landed at Istanbul International Airport at midnight on July 16th, local time, with 146 passengers and 18 crew members on board.

        For the first time in 36 years, the pilot encountered a coup at the landing site.

        Miao Di, the captain of flight CZ679, was born as an air force pilot. This is the first time that he encountered this situation in his 36-year flying career.

  Reporter: Was there anything unusual before?

  Miao Di: After entering the Turkish intelligence region, we felt that the controller’s speech was slightly different from normal, and we felt very nervous and trembled.

  Reporter: Say what?

  Miao Di: We had a normal conversation with him. He instructed me to descend. When I came to confirm this instruction with him, his voice would be nervous and trembling when he answered.

  Reporter: Did you whisper at that time?

  Miao Di: Yes, the crew will, and we are all whispering, why is he so nervous today and would say such a thing? We have drawn a question mark in our mind, and no one would have thought of such serious consequences.

  At 0: 14 pm local time, flight CZ679 taxied to the designated seat, the escalator car docked with the hatch, opened the hatch, and the passengers took their luggage and began to disembark. However, just when twenty or thirty passengers had already landed on the ground, the ground staff of China Southern Airlines entered the cockpit and informed Miao Di and others about the situation: a Turkish military coup took place and the airport was controlled.

  Miao Di: At this time, it suddenly dawned on us that the controller’s nervousness was justified, because the rebel army, a coup army, would definitely control the control desk first — — The tower came to command the plane. When we landed, he said, we are looking at the opposite one. There is a landing runway on our left. There may be no more than ten planes landing behind us. After landing, there are no planes in the air, and the radio becomes silent, saying nothing, indicating that the controller has been driven away from his job.

  Reporter: That means other planes can’t land at this airport at all.

  Miao Di: Yes, other planes can hear it, but there is no one to direct them, so it has to turn back for backup. For some aircraft, it may also be a terrible thing for some aircraft. They may not have a lot of oil left when they land.

  So far, Miao Di can’t judge whether it is lucky to land at Istanbul airport or to find another airport for backup like the plane behind. After a brief discussion with other crew members, they made a decision to let dozens of passengers who had already disembarked quickly return to the plane.


        Reporter: You still have to let them come back.

       Miao Di: Yes, let them get on the plane. When he gets to the terminal, he will be full of all kinds of risks. Once a fight breaks out, once someone attacks the terminal, this is the most terrible thing. At that time, we also knew that there were coup troops and tanks outside the terminal, and then we could hear that kind of gunfire coming from somewhere, and the bombing sound was heard.

        Reporter: But all the passengers have no objection.

       Miao Di: There is no objection. They also know that the risk of going forward may be great.

       Reporter: What does it mean for you to let them get on the plane and all the people are on the plane?

       Miao Di: Responsibility.

       Unlike Miao Di, who used to be a fighter pilot, most of the crew members on the plane have only civil aviation experience, and flight attendant Yan Jun is one of them.


  Reporter: So, what was your first reaction when you learned about the coup in Turkey?

  Yan Jun: Actually, when I received the notice at that time, I didn’t feel what the harmful consequences were, and I felt it was very far away. But when I heard the gunshots, I began to be afraid. It turned out that the war was so close to me.

  Reporter: What did you need to do at that time?

  Yan Jun: I was scared at that time. I had to appease the passengers. If there was a commotion, we would have great difficulties in our work. We only had 14 flight attendants for 146 passengers.

  Reporter: Think about it. The first reaction when people hear gunshots is to run and escape.

  Yan Jun: Yes, take your luggage, old people and children, and rush to the door at once. You can’t stop it, and you may even push us off the plane.

  Reporter: What did you do?

  Yan Jun: I told our team members to calm down.

        What preparations did they make for the military coup?

        Because it is a military coup, no one can predict what will happen next, how long the chaos will last and when it will end. Another captain on board contacted the headquarters of China Southern Airlines and the Embassy of China in Turkey by satellite phone. Miao Di sat in the passenger seat on the right side of the cockpit, opened the hanging window on the right side, and closely observed the situation of the terminal and the tower.

        Reporter: Is this the window behind you?

        Miao Di: Yes, this window can be opened. I’ve been sticking my head out a little, and then I’ve been looking at the terminal and the tower, and I’ve been observing.

        Reporter: What did you see at that time?

        Miao Di: When the porthole was opened and I looked out, maybe it didn’t take a minute or two. I found a large number of suspected military and police personnel running out of the terminal. The moment they ran out, they heard gunshots.

        Reporter: Are they armed with live ammunition?

        Miao Di: I can’t see it very clearly, but someone can see it with a gun.

        Reporter: How do you judge that they are soldiers?

        Miao Di: Because I have been a soldier, I know that whatever they come out of, they look like soldiers running well.

        Reporter: Which direction are they running?

        Miao Di: Go out of the terminal and run to the right, first run to the right, then come back and run to the left, and keep running.

        Reporter: What are you doing?

        Miao Di: I suspect that they were arresting people or expelling people at that time. It should be more accurate to arrest people. At this time, the gunshots continued, and the gunshots of submachine guns continued to ring.

        Reporter: At that time, you realized what would happen?

        Miao Di: At that time, I felt that this was a dangerous stage, and I saw someone falling. I don’t know whether the gun hit me or they ran nervously and fell down. I can’t see clearly. Once it hits the aircraft, the aircraft will be damaged. Once the bullets come in, my passengers will be hurt.

        Just a few minutes later, Miao Di found that dozens of soldiers seemed to run towards his plane, which aroused Miao Di’s vigilance. He quickly informed the crew to turn off the sign lights on the cabin and the wing outside the plane, and at the same time turned off all the lights in the cockpit, and turned the lights on all kinds of instruments to the darkest.

        Reporter: Why do you do this?

        Miao Di: Make my whole plane look like it should be black. I’m trying to protect myself. One of my doors is open, and there is a ladder truck coming up. If these people get out of control, they are likely to get on the plane, because after all, they are a foreign aircraft, threatening my passengers and crew as a condition, and such consequences are likely to happen.


        When flight CZ679 just landed, the ground staff brought the escalator needed by passengers to dock with the hatch. After the coup, almost all airport staff, including the escalator driver, fled their jobs. Considering that the rebels may go directly to the plane cabin through the escalator, Miao Di ordered that the hatch be closed immediately.

        Reporter: Can the complete safety of the plane be guaranteed by closing the hatch?

        Miao Di: No, because if they want to get on the plane, the passenger elevator car is still facing the hatch, so they can come up and smash the hatch. As long as he comes up, the risk will be further increased.

        Reporter: Because according to the provisions of the Civil Aviation Law, it is the territory of China to close the hatch.

        Miao Di: Theoretically, it is, but it’s hard to control them to follow these rules of the game. What I’m trying to do is let the outside world see that our plane is similar to an empty plane.

        The lights in the engine room have gone out, and everyone has fallen into the boundless darkness, not knowing what will happen next or when such a wait will take place.

        Reporter: Is there anyone who can’t stand it, in this long wait?

        Yan Jun: A passenger said that this happened to him before. I can’t stay in the cabin. You must let me down.

        Reporter: What kind of words can I say to calm a person who has experienced such a thing and was born in countless fears?

        Yan Jun: This was explained to him by our No.1 flight attendant. The most talked about is that our flight attendants can protect your safety. Under such limited conditions, you can only wait in the cabin.

        Landing airport closed doors and found threats from the air.

        However, under the circumstances at that time, ensuring safety can only be a comfort to passengers. Because, after closing the hatch, Miao Di soon discovered the threat from the air.


        Miao Di: Because the cabin was open, we heard the F-16 fighter in the air. At about this angle, at 1 o’clock, we first saw the tail of the F-16 spurting fire when it swooped down and pulled up.

        Reporter: Can you see the fire from this side cabin?

        Miao Di: All the crew members here saw the plane pull up. Immediately after the plane was in the air, it kept diving and pulling up in the direction of the airport. When it pulled up, the throttle changed and the power of the engine changed, it acted on our plane and affected us. At that time, our landing weight was shown here as 165 tons, and the plane was shaking violently.

        Reporter: Are the 165-ton planes shaking?

        Miao Di: Everything is shaking. The whole plane is shaking horizontally on the ground.

        Reporter: But at that time, you already felt that the whole cockpit was moving?

        Miao Di: It has been shaking. When our plane was on the ground, we never felt the plane shaking so violently.

        Yan Jun: My body was shaking. At that time, my blood was boiling and countless small hammers were hammering me. The fear at that time may be beyond words.

        Reporter: What were you thinking when dozens of small hammers were hammering you?

        Yan Jun: My heart is shaking. At that time, I could hear the passengers calling and crying. Then my first reaction is that I am really scared, and tears may have turned in my eyes. But on second thought, who depends on the safety of my dozen team members and my 146 passengers? I must be calm at this moment, and I can’t let this emotion affect me.

        For captain Miao Di, what worries him most is not the violent shaking of the plane, but the next possible action of the fighter hovering in the air.

        Reporter: What will happen?

        Miao Di: Once it attacks the runways, aircraft, vehicles and terminal buildings of the airport, it is the most terrible. Once this happens, it is the most terrible.

        Reporter: Were there any planes around you at that time?

        Miao Di: On my left is a Boeing 777. When I look at the row on my right, all of them are large heavy aircraft like ours, Airbus 330 and 777. We are in the southernmost part of the tarmac. There is only one in our south, and there are about 40 or 50 to the east.

        Reporter: Is the distance like the distance between us and the aircraft next to us? Or further?

        Miao Di: It should be this distance, it should be this distance. Once it is attacked, there will be a plane, and a plane in the whole airport will catch fire and explode, which will have the consequences of burning the camp. This is the most terrible.

        At the Istanbul airport at that time, there were about hundreds of heavy passenger planes, each carrying different weights of jet fuel.

        Reporter: If this is the case, what can you do?

        Miao Di: Once this happens, I will open the working hatch of the electronic cabin if there is a fire in the terminal and the aircraft next to me.

        Reporter: Is this a door? The position we are stepping on now is a door, right?

        Miao Di: Yes, this can be opened. There is a ladder to go down. I will ask my crew to go down and open the wheel block blocking the plane. I will try my best to push the ladder away.

        Reporter: shouldn’t someone drive the ladder car?

        Miao Di: Yes, someone should drive it, but there is no one at this time.

        At that time, Miao Di was ready to take off by force.

        Miao Di: In that emergency, the worst I can do is to get off our plane from this place. At that time, the most difficult thing was the ladder truck. At that time, what we were most worried about was that it was empty. If we had come down at that time, in that emergency, we would have just pushed it, put it in neutral, and pushed it away from the position that blocked the engine and the wing.

        Reporter: but this can’t be done by one person?

        Miao Di: Yes, that requires a few people from the crew, because there are still men in our crew and three people in the crew, so seven or eight people will push it away. Be sure to push it away. In such an emergency, it is desperate, even if it is overturned and put down, we will move it. As long as it does not block the position of my engine and my main wheel, we must move it.

        The helicopter repeatedly pulled up and down in the air, which lasted for forty or fifty minutes. In the violently shaking flight CZ679, everyone’s heart was experiencing an unprecedented shock.

        Reporter: Are you ready to take off by force?

        Miao Di: Yes, I have made such preparations in my mind, including where to go. I also checked the fuel of our plane when I landed.

        Reporter: Is this oil enough?

        Miao Di: That’s enough.

        Reporter: How long is it enough to fly?

        Miao Di: At that time, our plane could fly for two to three hours, no problem.

        Reporter: That won’t fly back to China territory?

        Miao Di: It’s impossible. I can only seek alternate flight to a third country.

        Reporter: Is this kind of demand easy to help?

        Miao Di: It should be said that this is a choice that should not be made under extremely special circumstances.

        Reporter: Under what circumstances did the captain make a decision to start the plane forcibly?

        Miao Di: In the worst case, I can only make this decision. I am responsible for all the consequences.

        Forty or fifty minutes later, the military plane hovering overhead finally left, except for the occasional gunfire, and everything fell into silent darkness again.

        More than six hours of thrilling danger relief.

        At about 6: 30am local time, after more than six hours of thrilling sleepless nights, Miao Di was informed that the passengers could disembark. In this more than six hours, in addition to going to the toilet, Miao Di has been sitting in the cockpit observing the surrounding situation.

        Reporter: Have you received the message from your family?

        Miao Di: I sent it first. We all finished these things at the first time, and everyone sent a short message to their families.

        Reporter: Who did you send it to?

        Miao Di: I give it to my lover.

        Reporter: What did you say?

        Miao Di: I have landed in Turkey, and everything is normal. If I leave, it will delay a little time, and I will not leave normally. Don’t worry, just rest assured.

        At noon on July 16, the Turkish military announced that it had officially defeated the coup attempt. At 14: 30 local time, Miao Di greeted the first batch of passengers returning home on flight CZ680. Like the flights that landed before, these passengers also experienced the shocking moment brought by the coup in the terminal. Under such circumstances, the flight from the motherland gave them an unprecedented sense of security. At 16:21 local time on July 16th, flight CZ680 took off and embarked on a journey back to China.

        Reporter: When these 16 hours have passed and you want to return to China, you have to give instructions to take off and leave the airport. What was your mood at that time?

        Miao Di: Actually, I feel very calm, but I can imagine how my passengers will look when they come up. They must have been in shock for nearly 24 hours. So to speak, I can imagine them running from corner to corner and hiding behind that chair in the terminal building. I can imagine their fear. I can imagine them.

        Reporter: So you said you were taking them home.

        Miao Di: Yes, I think after they board the plane, normally we all want the captain to broadcast in both Chinese and English. After thinking about it, I can’t say that you are frightened. Let’s change the word. I said welcome aboard. Everyone has worked hard. I’ll take you home. (CCTV news client)