KITS 05/2022

S-199.340, Lt. František Kratochvíla, No. 3 Squadron, Aviation Regiment 51,

Mladá, Czechoslovakia, July 1952

Not much is known about the early service of this aircraft.

It was manufactured in the summer of 1948. The aircraft

underwent general overhaul in Kunovice from June 5 to

November 20, 1950 and served with the Police Air Patrol

service briefly (this aviation arm of the Police was disbanded on December 23, 1950). In May 1952, it was assigned

to No. 51 lp (Aviation Regiment 51), where it was first as-

signed to No. 4 Squadron and then served after reorganization of the regiment with No. 3 Squadron, which retained

the original Police code of its aircraft (numbers B-0311 and

higher). On July 30, 1952, the aircraft made an emergency

landing in Zvolen while being flown by Lt. František Kratochvíla This aircraft was one of a number that retained

their simplified Police markings, including the red nose

and horizontal stabilizer and elevator. The army insignia

on the wings were overpainted in a darker colour than the

camouflage coat. The same color was used to adapt the

insignia on the rudder from circular to triangles with curved edges. It is not known what specific color was used,

but it may have been a darker shade of green used later

on the S-199.

S-199.531 Lt. Václav Dvořák, No. 2 Squadron, Aviation Regiment 3,

Brno-Černovice, Czechoslovakia, April 5, 1953

This “Mezek” was test flown on April 19, 1950 and

was one of the last of this type produced. From June

12, 1950 it was assigned to the Air Reserve (LZ 8) at

Zvolen Air Base with assignment to the VLT (Air Force Headquarters) in Prešov. Later it was transferred

to No. 3 lp (Aviation Regiment 3), which was part of

No. 22 Air Fighter Division, comprising units flying

piston engined fighter aircraft. There, “Mule” 531

served with the code GY-35. On April 5, 1953 Lt. Václav Dvořák made an emergency landing with it due

to an injection pump malfunction. The airframe was

written off. The aircraft was visibly worn at the time

with numerous signs of repairs to the original paint,

which had been made in a darker shade of green. The

engine cowling was apparently a replacement unit

from a machine painted in the later, darker shade,

but darker spots were also visible on it. These were

likely the result of contrast between fresh and faded paint of the same shade. Similar signs of repairs

were found on older Avia S-199s of the unit.

S-199.178, Police Air Patrol, Praha-Ruzyně, Prague,

Czechoslovakia, December, 1948

S-199 No. 178 was test flown by factory pilot Antonín Kraus on November 19, 1948, and on December

27 of the same year was ferried to Ruzyně, where

it was assigned to the Police Air Patrol. It was first

coded OK-BYW, and after a change to the marking

system it became B-4300 in March 1950. Probably in

May 2022

March 1951 the aircraft was passed on to the Army

for a stated cost of 802,000 CZK. The airframe had

logged only 94 flight hours. Subsequently, it served

from 1953 with No. 4 Aviation School Regiment in

Prostějov, coded UF-25. On October 19, 1953, it was

severely damaged during landing. The airframe was

written off, but not scrapped and remained unnoticed

in the scrap yard at Olomouc. From there, it was moved to the Kbely Aviation Museum in 1969. Using the

fuselage of this aircraft, a single museum example of

the Avia S-199 was then restored and is a part of its

display to this day.

INFO Eduard