The first pilot school after the war started in spring 1957 with an initial training at Langenlebarn and then from March 1957 onwards at Zeltweg. Initially a great variety of aircraft – such as Piper PA-18, Zlin 126 and later also Fiat G-46 – were used. The later were a gift of the Italian government. The aircraft were supplemented by Cessna 172 and Cessna 182.
The US government supported the young Austrian Air Force with 10 North American LT-6G “Texan” und the “Military Assistance Program”. These aircraft were used for the advanced training.
The Austrian Air Force decided to replace this “zoo” of aircraft by a single type and the choice eventually felt on the Saab 91D “Safir”. A total of 24 aircraft was delivered between September 1964 and March 1965. These aircraft remained in service of more than 20 years until they were eventually replaced by the Pilatus PC-7 “Turbo Trainer”.
Today, the initial screening of the future military pilots is done by the Aviation Center Austria (osterreichische Luftfahrtschule) at Graz-Thalerhof on Cessna 152. This first step lasts 2 months and includes approx. 25 hours of flying. Then those selected to become a fixed wing pilot will continue at Zeltweg flying the Pilatus PC-7 for 11 months. During at period, they will accumulate about 125 flying hours.
Austria purchased a total of 24 Pilatus PC-7 “Turbo Trainer” with deliveries between November 1983 and November 1985. The aircraft can also be used to escort light civil aircraft in a range between 80 and 160 knots. These aircraft can also be equipped with two 12.7mm machine guns and with two LAU 32 rocket pods with 7 2.75″ rockets each.