An airport of superlatives was to be built in the middle of the swamp area of ​​Florida. Six runways were planned and five times the size of New York JFK. The mega airport should have become the new hub for the emerging supersonic aircraft. Everglades Jetport was the project name.

The dream from the 1960s did not come true. And so the project that had already started became the Dade-Collier Training and Transition Airport.

Today it is mainly used by private planes with its 3200 meter long runway. But on Friday (October 23) a flight from an airline from Cuba landed there.

It was no ordinary flight. A pilot used a plane owned by his employer “Ensa – Empresa Nacional de Servicios Aéreos” to flee from Cuba to the USA.

He flew in the Antonov An-2, registration CU-AI885, from Aeropuerto de Sancti Spíritus in the center of the island to Dade-Collier Training and Transition Airport in Florida. There are around 460 kilometers between the starting point and the destination.

Footage from an eyewitness in a boat off the American coast shows the 29-year-old pilot flying the An-2 just above the surface of the sea, at least at the very end.

After he was overland, he reported to the controllers at Dade-Collier Training and Transition Airport and explained that he was low on fuel. He must land within minutes, a spokesman for the Miami-Dade Aviation Authority told Local 10.

Ensa is a Cuban charter airline. It specializes in spraying for agriculture, mosquito control and firefighting.

In addition to a few PZL M18s, it mainly operates a fleet of various Antonov An-2s. Many planes from the Soviet Union are still in service in Cuba.

And so it is not uncommon for An-2 to be used to escape from the communist regime.

Da Portal Cibercuba lists at least 19 cases from the last sixty years in which the single-engine Soviet aircraft was used to illegally leave Cuba. In 1996 alone there were four cases.

Around 18,000 of the Antonov An-2 were built in the Soviet Union until 1971 and by WSK-Mielec under license in Poland until 2002.

It reaches a top speed of 258 kilometers per hour and has a range of up to 1400 kilometers. The aircraft was so popular in the Soviet Union that even songs were written about the Antonov An-2.

This article was written by Stefan Eiselin

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The original of this article “In Antonov and with a trick on landing, the pilot manages to escape to the USA” comes from aeroTelegraph.