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Cuban Migrants Land Safely in Key West on Motorized Hang Glider

Cuban Migrants Land Safely in Key West on Motorized Hang Glider


At around 10:30 a.m. local time on March 23, 2023, two Cuban migrants flew seemingly out of nowhere into Florida's Key West International Airport on a powered hang glider. 


A Perilous Journey


The two men had traveled over 145 kilometers (90 miles) from Cuba and had landed illegally. After the two entered the airport, they were taken into custody by Border Patrol. Luckily, there were no reported incidents or injuries, and operations were able to continue as normal.


The powered glider being taken into custody by U.S. Border Patrol at Key West International Airport. Photo: Monroe County Sheriff's Office


Why Would Anyone Try This?


Cubans have been migrating to the United States since the Cuban Revolution in 1959, so this is not all that uncommon. A lot of migrants come to the U.S. due to economic reasons. However, it is key to note that this isn't the intention of every migrant. In fact, so many migrants have arrived seeking better lives for themselves and their families and are even willing to make the potentially dangerous 165-kilometer (100-mile) journey all the way to the border. This caused the Biden Administration in early January to administer new laws in relation to their entry.




So, why is this News?


The two men who had crossed into the Key West International Airport had arrived there via a motorized glider, as mentioned before. Since most Cubans arrive in homemade boats, arriving in an aircraft proved a little strange. But, it also isn't unheard of, as evidenced by a Cuban pilot who landed in Florida in a Russian aircraft in October 2022. However, the pair had made the journey from Cuba to Florida in a motorized glider over the ocean, with crosswinds that could've led them off course by miles. The two could've been stranded at sea, with no way to receive any help, and yet somehow they made it safely to dry land.


The attorney currently representing the duo, Willy Allen, is seeking their release on the basis of asylum and is hopeful that they will be successful.

Adnan Shaheed
Hi! I'm an aspiring engineering student with an interest in aviation. I really took an interest in Aeroxplorer because it lets me do what I love: talk about planes to people.

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