Costa Rican Air Force

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

Military aviation started in 1947 as Fuerza Aérea Costarricense, when the government bought two P-38L, one A-24B and one B-18B. But it was only about June 1950, when the last of these aircraft was sold and the Air Force stopped to exist. Last combat operations with some Mustang fighter aircraft were in 1955 during hostilities with Nicaraguan-supported expatriates. But after the end of the fighting all aircraft were written off.

Key Dates

1947    Fuerza Aérea Costarricense was formed.
1955    Last combat operations with F-51D Mustang.

Current Status

Not applicable.

Future Plans

Not applicable.

Markings

National Insignia

National Markings

Aircraft Serial Numbers

The civilian registration prefix TI was used until 1994.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used.

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None.

Current Aircraft Inventory

Not applicable.

All-Time Aircraft Used List

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Organisation

Main Headquarters:
San Jose

Organisational Structure

To be added.

Current Order of Battle

Not applicable.

Historical Orders of Battle

To be added.

All-Time Flying Units List

To be added.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

Not applicable.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

Military Air Bases Listing

More Information

Books

None.

Magazines:

None.

Websites:

Scramble: Costa Rica Air Arm

Aircraft Not Used

by the Costa Rican Ministry of Public Security

This page gives details of some of the aircraft types that were offered or promised to the Costa Rican Security Force, and its successors, but not delivered, cancelled official orders, and types have been falsely reported as being in service.

Bell 206A JetRanger
Two examples reported in service circa 1971. Probably confusion with the FH-1100 actually used.
Cessna T-41 Mescalero
Two examples reportedly obtained under MAP in 1985 but none were ever received.
Piper PA-28 Cherokee
Planned acquisition of six examples reported in 1973. This version did not enter service, but PA-32-200 variants were later obtained.

Historical Order of Battle – 1985

of the Costa Rican Civil Guard

Click on unit title for more details

Unit Type Base
  Sección Aérea de la Guardia Civil San Jose
Escuadrilla de Comunicaciones P-31, P-34, Cessna 206 San Jose, Liberia
Escuadrilla de Helicópteros Hughes 369E, Hiller FH-1100 San Jose
Escuadrilla de Apoyo de Guardia Costera Cessna 337 Golfito

 

Escuadrilla de Helicópteros

of the Costa Rican Civil Guard

History

No unit history available.

Subordinate Units

None.

Aircraft

Type Qty Service Example Serials
Bell UH-1B 2 1978 – 1986 TI-SPO, TI-SPP
Fairchild Hiller FH-1100 1 1973 – n/a TI-SPH
Sikorsky S-58ET (SH-34J) 2 1975 – 1978 TI-SPI, TI-SPJ
Hughes 269C 2 1977 – 1980 TI-SPL, TI-SPM
Hughes 500 (369D) 1 1985 – 1996 MSP-010(3)
McDonnell Douglas MD.500E 2 1985 – Present MSP-012, MSP-018
Mil Mi-17 1 1994 – 2002 MSP-016(1)


Unit Markings

Figure 1
To be added


Main Bases

Base Duration
Base Aérea 2 San José/Juan Santa Maria IAP 1964 – n/a


Photographs

None currently available.

More Information

References

  • Latin-American Military Aviation (John Andrade)
  • World Air Power Journal 32, p.143-144

Other Sources

To be added.

Escuadrilla de Comunicaciones

of the Costa Rican Civil Guard

History

No unit history available.

Subordinate Units

None.

Aircraft

Type Qty Service Example Serials
Aero Commander 680 1 1990 – n/a TI-SPW
Beechcraft C-45F 1 1950 – 1960 TI-505SP
Cessna 180B 1 1954 – 1980 TI-SPA
Cessna 185 (U-17A) Skywagon 3 1963 – 1980 TI-SPB,TI-SPC, TI-SPD
Cessna 206G Stationair 4 1985 – Present TI-SPA,TI-SPB, TI-SPC, TI-SPD
DHC U-1A Otter 3 1975 – 1980 TI-SPE, TI-SPF, TI-SPG
Piper PA-23-160 Apache 1 1977 – 1988 TI-SPK
Piper PA-23-250F Aztec 2 1979 – 1998 TI-SPN, TI-SPT
Grumman American AA-5 1 1984 – 1995 TI-SPV
De Havilland C-7A Caribou 3 1990 – Present MSP-001,MSP-002,MSP-010
Piper PA-31T Cheyenne 2 1990 – Present MSP-003, MSP-019
Piper PA-32 Cherokee 3 1979 – 1990 TI-SPQ, TI-SPR, TI-SPS
Piper PA-34 Seneca 1 1980 – Present MSP-017


Unit Markings

Figure 1
To be added


Main Bases

Base Duration
Base Aérea 1 Liberia/Daniel Oduber IAP 1964 – n/a
Base Aérea 2 San José/Juan Santa Maria IAP 1964 – n/a


Photographs

None currently available.

More Information

References

  • Latin-American Military Aviation (John Andrade)
  • World Air Power Journal 32, p.143-144

Other Sources

To be added.

Escuadrilla de Apoyo de Guardia Costera

of the Costa Rican Civil Guard

History

No unit history available.

Subordinate Units

None.

Aircraft

Type Qty Service Example Serials
Cessna 337 (O-2A) Skymaster 3 1986 – Present TI-SPE,TI-SPF,TI-SPG


Unit Markings

Figure 1
To be added


Main Bases

Base Duration
Base Aeronaval Golfito n/a – n/a


Photographs

None currently available.

More Information

References

  • World Air Power Journal 32, p.143-144

Other Sources

To be added.

National Markings

of the Costa Rican Air Force

This section describes and illustrates the various national insignia used by the Costa Rican Air Force and its successors since its formation:

                                  
                               Main Marking                            

1947-1948
The main marking is displayed in 4 positions (ie above and below each wing, and on each side of the fuselage) of aircraft.

National Markings

of the Costa Rican Ministry of Public Security

This section describes and illustrates the various national insignia used by the Costa Rican Air Surveillance Service since its formation:


                                                    
                                Main Marking                               Fin Flash 

1964-1994
The main marking and on some aircraft also the serial number with are displayed in 4 positions (ie above and below each wing, and on each side of the fuselage) of aircraft and on each side of the fuselage of helicopters. The fin flash and on some aircraft also the main marking are displayed on the rudder. Usually the inscription "FUERZA PUBLICA" is written on the fuselage sides.



                                                         
                               Main Marking                                Fin Flash

1994-Present
The main marking and on some aircraft also the serial number with are displayed in 4 positions (ie above and below each wing, and on each side of the fuselage) of aircraft and on each side of the fuselage of helicopters. The fin flash and on some aircraft also the main marking are displayed on the rudder. Usually the inscription "FUERZA PUBLICA", "VIGILANCIA AÉREA" or "POLICIA" are written on the fuselage sides.