|Hof Air Station 1960-1964|
|A Kingsley Legend... The Mystery Plane|
|Run your mouse over the pic above for a second picture
A Zlin 226T6 Trener, probably the only fixed wing aircraft ever seen on Hof Air Station proper. (The US Army and Constabulary based observation aircraft on the Flugplatz until it was closed in the 50's. The Zlin had East German Civil Registtry numbers (DM-WEH) on the side. At this point above it is on the old Flugplatz and under the control of the Bavarian police and GBS who kept it for 5 weeks before returning it to the East Germans on a truck, via the border crossing at Toepen, with the Soviets "looking on".
The following is an updated and corrected version of the original story, including new material from Jim Paterson, who witnessed the sloppy landing and a new pic (above) from an extensive Google and Alltheweb search as well as the story of the pilot who flew the aircraft to the Flubplatz from behind the Iron Curtain.
On 11 May, 1962 an East German "pilot" named Eduard Heinzmann who had been a flight engineer on a Ju-52 in WW II, started his flight in Auerbach in the trainer having looked at the technical instructions at the military base. According to Jim, who was on duty that early morning, he heard the noise of the aircraft motor and reallized from the sound that it was not one of ours. He ran outside to see it coming in over the trees across the access road to the radar site. It was lined up for a final landing approach to our PSP Runway. For some unknown reason, the pilot gunned the engine just enough to carry the plane beyond the runway and landed about 4 or 5 hundred yards beyond the runway. Jim called the Hof Police and they responded. Walt Wisner was at the site when they took the pilot away and took pictures.
The Zlin (a very common Czech-built trainer in the East) in this pic is probably stashed behind the buildings at the far NW corner of the Kaserne and under Grenzschutz control.
The East Germans demanded the aircraft back but not the pilot. This is probably why it appears wingless in the pic as it was being prepared to be trucked back to East Germany.
The original story, while a true story is actually from 1972. A Czech pilot, having being trained in East Germany on this type aircraft, managed to escape to the West with his wife and 2 teenaged daughters stuffed into the front seat. He slid under the radars and landed his Zlin near Nuremberg. That saga has this pilot later becoming a champion stunt pilot in the West.
Zlins were involved in several other excapes from the East, as well.
Pic credit for the wingless plane possibly goes to Ernst Penfield and/or Mike Becker. The photog in the first picture was not identified. Possibly a police or BGS official?
Any further info would be appriciated. Contact the Webmeister.