Soviet-era Cuban biplane crashes with 2 survivors in Florida Everglades

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A Soviet-era Cuban biplane was belly up in the grassy shallow side of a canal after crashing on Monday afternoon in the Florida Everglades, about 15 miles west of the Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport.

There were two survivors on board after the 1:30 p.m. crash at the Florida Everglades National Park, according to Tammy L. Jones, a spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Antonov AN-2 had the markings of an Empresa Cubana de Servicios Aéreos, or ENSA, biplane, which the Cuban government uses for small deliveries or agricultural services.

The plane’s tail number told a Cuban migrant’s story. Just about three weeks ago, Rubén Martinez Machado, 29, a defector from Santa Clara, flew the plane from Cuba to South Florida.

Martinez Machado landed the ENSA Antonov AN-2 on Oct. 21 at the Dade-Collier Training and Transition Airport. As of Monday night, he remained in the custody of U.S. immigration authorities.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board were investigating the Monday crash.

On Tuesday, the NTSB confirmed that the plane had departed from the Dade-Collier Training and Transition Airport and was headed to Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport when the crash occurred.

They said the two people onboard were not injured, however the plane was “substantially damaged.”

Watch the 6 p.m. report

Watch the 3:30 p.m. report

Local 10 News Assignment Desk Editor Wayne Roustan contributed to this report.

About the Authors:

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.

Christian De La Rosa joined Local 10 News in April 2017 after spending time as a reporter and anchor in Atlanta, San Diego, Orlando and Panama City Beach.