Caught on camera: Cuban pilot flees to Florida on Soviet-era Antonov An-2

US authorities have opened an investigation into a flight by a Cuban pilot, who defected to Florida on a Soviet-era single-engine Antonov AN-2 biplane. 

The incident happened on October 21, 2022, when a 29-year-old Cuban pilot took off from Sancti Spíritus in central Cuba and then landed at the Dade-Collier Training and Transition Airport (TNT) located in the middle of the Everglades, in Florida, having declared a fuel emergency. 

Speaking to Local 10 News on the day of the incident, the Miami-Dade Aviation Department’s communications director Greg Chin confirmed that the pilot of the Antonov AN-2 notified the tower that he was low on fuel just a few minutes before the plane touched down on an airstrip at TNT airport. 

It later transpired that the single-engine agricultural aircraft, with registration number CU-A1885, is owned by Cuba-based crop-dusting company Empresa Cubana de Servicios Aéreos (ENSA). 

The unusual flight was captured on video a witness who was fishing near the Florida straits. The footage, showing the blue and yellow biplane flying low over the water, was shared by the witness on social media. 


A post shared by Brian Cone (@conetagiousfishing)

The pilot reportedly told TNT airport staff his goal was to flee out of Sancti Spiritus. 


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