Operations at Key West International Airport in Florida came to a halt briefly on Saturday morning when two Cuban migrants crash-landed a motorized ultralight aircraft on the runway. Miami Sector Border Patrol agents responded and took the two Cuban nationals into custody.
Marion County Sheriff’s Office officials tweeted photos showing the scene at the Key West airport showing the ultralight on the active runway after the illegal landing at a controlled airport.
Migrants land at Key West International Airport: https://t.co/RmY672b0bj pic.twitter.com/Y5D95hcL8g
— Florida Keys Sheriff (@mcsonews) March 25, 2023
Miami Sector Chief Patrol Agent Walter Slosar tweeted photos of the seized aircraft. The damage from the crash-landing can be seen in the photos.
Two Cuban migrants were taken into U.S. Border Patrol custody after landing at the Key West International Airport onboard a powered hang glider. No reported injuries. We appreciate the support from @mcsonews.#Breaking #Saturday #KeyWest #Cuba pic.twitter.com/KqqFlYqie1
— Chief Patrol Agent Walter N. Slosar (@USBPChiefMIP) March 25, 2023
Responding Border Patrol agents took the two Cuban migrants into custody.
Seaplane pilot Nick Pontecorvo got an unexpected closeup view of the ultralight as he returned from a trip over the local reefs, Keys News reported.
“I see this thing coming at me, and it looks weird,” said Pontecorvo, told the local news outlet. “I see it’s an ultralight, and it zips passed my wing.”
The encounter highlights the dangers of an unexpected aircraft attempting to land at a controlled airfield.
While the Miami Sector is experiencing an enormous surge of Cuban migrants this year, most arrive on makeshift boats landing on the keys and other Florida beaches.
During the first five months of Fiscal Year 23, Miami Sector agents apprehended 4,398 Cuban migrants. This is more than the three previous fiscal years combined, according to the February CBP Nationwide Encounters Report. Of those, 3,738 were single adults.
These do not include the nearly 6,000 Cuban nationals apprehended at sea by U.S. Coast Guard crews, Breitbart Texas reported.
Coast Guard officials report that since Oct. 1, 2022, Coast Guard crews interdicted 5,740 Cubans compared to:
- 6,182 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2022
- 838 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2021
- 49 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2020
- 313 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2019
- 259 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2018
- 1,468 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2017
- 5,396 Cuban Migrants in Fiscal Year 2016
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.
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