Zakir Tofiq oglu Yusifov

Zakir Tofiq oglu Yusifov

Azerbaijani pilot, major
Date of Birth: 29.09.1956
Country: Azerbaijan

  1. Biography of Zakir Tofiq oglu Yusifov
  2. Service in the Party
  3. Combat Missions
  4. Heroic Actions
  5. Final Mission

Biography of Zakir Tofiq oglu Yusifov

Zakir Tofiq oglu Yusifov, an Azerbaijani pilot, was born in late September 1956 in Baku. He had a passion for philosophy and Roman law and aspired to become a lawyer. However, he successfully completed the Sasov Flight School and joined the Azerbaijan State University's Law Faculty in 1980.

Service in the Party

After the bloody events of Black January in 1990, Zakir Yusifov submitted his party membership card and a request to be expelled from the party to the Party Commission. He made this decision in light of the circumstances and events that unfolded during that period.

Combat Missions

In the summer of 1992, Azerbaijani pilots flew in pairs for combat missions. One of these pairs consisted of Zakir Yusifov and Zakir Medjidov. On August 6, within the populated area of Kasapet Agdara, where significant enemy forces were concentrated, both Zakirs provided air support for the Azerbaijani brigade's offensive. Zakir Yusifov led the group and made one attack before leaving the battle, allowing Zakir Medjidov to take his place. Unfortunately, the second helicopter was shot down, resulting in the deaths of all three crew members on board.

Heroic Actions

During the approach to Kubatly, Armenian forces, with the support of their assault helicopters, forced back Azerbaijani troops. On that autumn day, three Mi-24 helicopters simultaneously attacked Azerbaijani positions, resulting in the loss of two Armenian machines, while the third helicopter sustained damage [source unspecified - 92 days]. Fortunately, no one was injured, but one helicopter was completely destroyed. The second helicopter attempted to land and evacuate the crew but was disabled by a grenade launcher shot. The grenade hit the radio compartment, damaging the helicopter's hydraulic system. It took ten hours for technicians to repair the damaged helicopter, which was under attack from the advancing enemy. Zakir Yusifov and an operator were then flown back to the crash site on a salvage helicopter to bring the crew of the downed machines to safety. Almost after every flight, Zakir Yusifov's helicopter returned to the base riddled with bullets. However, he would once again appear above enemy positions. Armenian prisoners of war spoke highly of the pilot's bravery.

Final Mission

In 1992, near the settlement of Safian in the Kubatly region, Armenian forces concentrated their troops to be destroyed. Three Azerbaijani helicopters were dispatched to eliminate the enemy forces and support the ground troops. Zakir Yusifov was supposed to go first, make one attack, and withdraw while providing cover fire for the following helicopters. All crews executed the assigned task perfectly. Zakir Yusifov gave the command, "Let's go! Group, maintain formation. Heading home." The group returned at extremely low altitude along a ravine. In Aghjabedi, at the airfield, two helicopters, piloted by Zakir's comrades, Bahlu and Khanlar, landed one after another. But Zakir was nowhere to be seen.

A search mission was carried out in the Mi-2 helicopter to locate the missing aircraft. Zakir was called on the radio, but there was no response. On that day, visibility for the pilots was excellent, and they noticed a column of black smoke rising from the ground. They saw the wreckage of the destroyed helicopter on a hill along the road to Kubatly, far from the front line. Local residents had already put out the fire and retrieved the bodies of the deceased crew. After landing, the soldiers interviewed the people and searched the area. The helicopter had broken apart at the top, and there were traces of the pylons scraping the ground up the hill. The crew had not noticed the damage until the instruments showed a lack of hydraulic fluid. It became impossible to control the helicopter. Zakir Yusifov, along with his crew, tragically lost their lives. His body was brought back to Baku and laid to rest. Zakir Tofiq oglu Yusifov was posthumously awarded the title of National Hero of Azerbaijan by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.