VODOCHODY/PRAGUE --- Aero Vodochody Chief Pilot Miroslav Schutzner took the first L 159 produced by Aero Vodochody for the Czech Army on its debut test flight today. The test flight lasted one hour during which an elevation of 13,000 meters (42,000 feet) was attained. All systems were checked during the flight and all flight objectives were accomplished.
"The L 159 is a fast and agile plane. Furthermore, it has maintained the safety and simple piloting features of its forerunners," said Miroslav Schutzner, who is the most experienced of all Aero Vodochody pilots. "Without exaggerating I can say that the avionics and weapons systems meet the expectations of aircraft of the next century," added Miroslav Schutzner.
Schutzner, who has logged over 5,500 flight hours in numerous types of aircraft, graduated from the Military Academy in Brno as a pilot - engineer in 1975. He went on to serve at the Pardubice Air Force base where he flew Mig 21s and later he was a military test pilot in Kbely. Since 1983 he has been with Aero Vodochody, first as a Test Pilot and later as the Chief Test Pilot. His highest flight elevation is 21,000 meters and his fastest speed is 2.05 Mach. Schutzner is married and has two daughters.
By the end of this year, Aero Vodochody shall deliver the first five L 159 aircraft of a total supply of 72 advanced light attack aircraft to be delivered by 2002 to the Air Force of the Czech Armed Forces.