THE EVERGLADES, FLA. (WSVN) - A Cuban migrant who took off from the island in a single-engine aircraft has landed in the Everglades.
The pilot radioed the Dade-Collier Training and Transition Airport, located in the Big Cypress National Preserve, and said he was low on fuel before he landed there, at around 11:30 a.m., Friday.
Brian Cone was fishing off of Islamorada when he saw the plane and took video of it.
The pilot, who has been identified as a 29-year-old Cuban man, left from Sancti Spiritus, Cuba, in an Antonov AN-2 Soviet-era crop duster. He flew a distance of about 270 miles before landing at the airport.
The migrant was intercepted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and is now in their custody.
The flight is part of a surge of migrant landings in South Florida that have been happening for months.
Authorities said this type of attempted arrival is unusual, but it’s not unprecedented.
7News has reported on various Cubans who have escaped the country by plane dating back to the early 1990s.
Authorities are attempting to determine how the pilot who landed on Friday flew by the Naval Air Station Key West and the Homestead Air Reserve Base.
According to airport officials, the pilot is a defector.
The Dade-Collier Training and Transition Airport is not a fully functioning airport. It was built to land supersonic aircraft and is now used for pilots to practice takeoffs and landings.
Homeland Security Investigations are investigating every aspect of this case.
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