Watch: Cubans Now Invading Florida By Air
Thousands of Cuban immigrants have arrived in the Florida Keys by boat in recent months. To address the surge, the state of Florida and the US Border Patrol have increased ground personnel. However, it now seems that migrants are turning to motorized hang gliders.
Chief Patrol Agent Walter Slosar tweeted over the weekend that two Cuban immigrants were taken into custody after landing a powered hang glider at the Key West International Airport.
𝐓𝐨𝐝𝐚𝐲 𝐢𝐧 𝐅𝐥𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐝𝐚:— Chief Patrol Agent Walter N. Slosar (@USBPChiefMIP) March 25, 2023
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
Local 10 News obtained a video from a Key West resident showing the migrants in US airspace.
DEVELOPING: migrants from Cuba in motorized glider/ultralight arrive in Key West this morning. They’re being processed by Border Patrol agents. More on @WPLGLocal10 at 6pm pic.twitter.com/WevJuC2REE— Janine Stanwood (@JanineStanwood) March 25, 2023
A witness said:
"I actually heard it first. I heard that glider in the air (and) I heard the motor.
"I actually looked up because it shouldn't be where it was, that's in the path of Key West Airport," said Christopher Herrera.
Local pilot Nick Pontecorvo told the media outlet:
"It was pretty awesome. To make that flight 90 miles over open ocean, especially with the wind, that takes a lot of courage," Pontecorvo said.
The use of ultralight aircraft by migrants to evade ground-based border patrol agents seems to be a new and worrisome development amid the ongoing invasion by boat across the Keys.