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Reese, Landing in Cuba, Calls Himself "Juan Miguel"

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  • NY Transfer News
    Via NY Transfer News * All the News That Doesn t Fit [Prior reports said this guy was from Reno, Nevada. This one says he works at a Pizza Hut in Marathon,
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 31, 2001
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      Via NY Transfer News * All the News That Doesn't Fit

      [Prior reports said this guy was from Reno, Nevada. This one
      says he works at a Pizza Hut in Marathon, Florida (where Paradise
      Aviation is located. And it gets weirder: according to one witness
      he said his name was Juan Miguel.]

      Tuesday July 31 10:11 PM ET (via yahoo)

      U.S. Student Pilot Lands in Cuba

      By CHRISTOPHER NEWTON, Associated Press Writer

      HAVANA (AP)--A student [sic] pilot taking his first solo flight at a Florida
      airport Tuesday stole the plane and flew to Havana, bringing the Cessna to
      a rough landing on a rocky coastline. Witnesses said he walked away from
      the craft, apparently unharmed.

      The pilot, John Reese, was taking a short test flight at an airport in the
      town of Marathon in the Florida Keys, said his instructor, Ed
      Steigerwald. But just before Reese was supposed to land the Cessna 171, he
      pulled up and headed south.

      He brought the plane down on the rocks along the coast in eastern Havana --
      some 140 miles from Marathon -- apparently flipping over as he landed. The
      Cessna, lying upside down afterward, was cordoned off and surrounded by more
      than a dozen police officials in uniform and civilian clothing.

      "It passed very close to the water," said Johan Mora, 25, one of numerous
      witnesses on a nearby beach who saw the small plane nearing the coast in
      the late afternoon. Mora said the plane appeared to lose one of its
      wheels as it landed, near the Naval Hospital.

      The pilot did not appear to be seriously injured, only dizzy after he got
      out of the plane and walked away, Mora said.

      Fabian Molina Herrera, a 19-year-old student, said the pilot appeared to
      have scratches on his arms. "He said his name was 'Juan Miguel,' that he
      was from Florida and he asked for some water," said Molina as he sat on his
      bicycle surrounded by curious bystanders trying to get a look at the plane.

      Witnesses said the pilot was taken away by authorities.

      There was no immediate report on the landing from the Cuban government,
      which often waits hours, even days, to comment on incidents that could
      have political consequences. The incident was not mentioned by state media.

      Reese was a driver for Pizza Hut in Marathon, Steigerwald said.

      Steigerwald, who works for Marathon-based Paradise Aviation, said Reese's
      test for the day involved "just to take off, stay in the traffic
      pattern and come right back around and land."

      "We did not discuss any forms of navigation, especially long-range
      navigation," Steigerwald said. "He obviously had some prior
      experience, somewhere along the way."

      A Navy plane made visual contact with the white Cessna as it crossed the
      Florida Straits, but never received a radio response from the pilot, a
      State Department official said on the condition of anonymity. The
      Navy followed the plane to the edge of Cuban airspace before
      turning back.

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    • lisacubasi@aol.com
      And flying lessons aren t cheap....seems expensive for a pizza delivery man...... We who believe in Freedom cannot rest... Spiritual You must BECOME the
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 2, 2001
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        And flying lessons aren't cheap....seems expensive for a pizza delivery

        "We who believe in Freedom cannot rest..."
        "You must BECOME the change you wish to see in the world."
        "Unless we change our direction,
        we will end up where we are headed."
        Chinese proverb
        "Find a way -- or make one!"
        That, which is not given, is lost.
        Just a basic spiritual reality
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