KYIV (QHA) -

Amet-Khan Sultan was born on October 20, 1920 in Alupka. His father was from Dagestan, his mother was a Crimean Tatar. Amet-Khan is considered to be a national hero both in Dagestan and among the Crimean Tatars.

Amet-Khan Sultan made 603 combat missions, shot down 30 aircrafts of Nazi Germany personally and 19 more as part of a group of air force. During the flight work, the pilot mastered about 100 types of aircrafts, his total flight time was 4237 hours.

For his unusually performed ramming a German bomber in the sky over Yaroslavl, the pilot was called the "King of the ram". For the successful tests of aircraft, he was called the "heaven-born Pilot."

"Amet-Khan entered my life as a daring falcon, from whom I learned to fly, a generous friend I could always rely on as myself, the lord of the great sky, which was always obedient to him...", said the twice Hero of the Soviet Union, strike pilot Musa Gareyev.

At the helm of the Tu-16 Amet-Khan participated in the training program for astronauts, worked out in zero gravity. People say that Yuri Gagarin and other cosmonauts called Amet-Khan "gaffer".

Amet-Khan, together with representatives of the Crimean Tatar people, went to the Red Square in Moscow. He was among the first to sign documents demanding "to bring the Crimean Tatars back to their homeland". He was repeatedly summoned to the KGB and warned against participation in such actions, but he did not stop participating in the national movement, he hosted fellow-countrymen at home.

Amet-Khan Sultan died on February 1, 1971 while performing a test flight at the Tu-16 flying laboratory. He was buried at the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow. In May 2015, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a resolution on naming International Airport of Simferopol after Amet-Khan Sultan. The international airport in the capital of Dagestan, Makhachkala, is also named in his honor.

QHA