Cubana over the US

I guess I’ve never looked into it, knowing Cubana flies from HAV to YYZ, but I just assumed they would have to be routed around the US. IS this standard?
I would think that going up over around and under would be quite a lengthy flight, but with US embargoes etc…I thought they would not be allowed to transit US airspace.

When I worked for the FAA a few years ago, all aircraft operated by Cubana and certain other countries were required to notify the FAA in advance before their flights could be routed over the USA.

Cubana has been flying that route, Toronto-Cuba, and Montreal-Cuba, Gander-Cuba directly thru US airspace since the early 80’s. It was agreements with Air Canada and the Canadian Govt. that allowed Cubana use of American made jets in the 70’s, as Air Canada leased and trained Cuban flight crews on DC-8’s. (Until someone blew one up, and the insurance was cancelled).

Prior to that, in the 50’s Cubana was in part owned by Pan American. A friend of mine flew that route, Toronto-Cuba on a T-204 two weeks ago. He knows nothing about airplanes, but thought he flew down on an Airbus.

Hey Pfp217

Check out … restrictCU for current FAA regs.

Specifically … rt%203.htm and scroll down for what Cubans need to do for overflight in the great US of A.


ASN Cubana DC-8 CU-T1200 and Cubana DC-8 CU-T1201 which lead to Air Canada/Cubana’s insurance being cancelled.

It is a bilateral agreement, US pilots can overfly Cuba as well. Well, most can. Saw a great movie called ShootDown last year about some pilots flying Cessnas that the Cuban Air Force decided were major security threats and shot down with air to air missiles. The movie included the actual radio broadcasts from the Cuban pilots bragging about how they shot down the ‘intruders.’ Pretty pitiful.

If I remember correctly, these flights were flown by former Cubans ( living in the Miami area ) who flew Skymasters to search for Cuban
“rafters” coming from Cuba to Florida in the 80’s and 90’s.

I’ll find references later.

News and video from film; ‘Documentary Examines 1996 Brothers To The Rescue Shoot-Down.’

My Space Memorial Page ‘Brothers to the Rescue’.

Thanks for all the info! I always find it interesting to go to the live tracking link and then to the aircraft type and pull up the entire list. I always go down to the section where there is 1 of a particular type flying. This is where I found out about this flight. I’m glad I posted about it, because everyone had great info! The links to the FAA site regarding INTL flying is awesome. I am a pilot, and should probably at least look that info over even though I have no intention on doing any INTL (except maybe Canada) flying.
I’m glad the “Flying Brothers” were brought up. I remember right after this happened, it seems like it was on a Dateline, or 60 Minutes type show. I remember these guys in Skysmashers looking for refugees. As the video shows, were they Mig 29s that shot down the 337s? Quite a bit of brawn compared to the opposition, as I’d imagine the Cessnas weren’t even armed? International airspace too. You’d think the Cubans wouldn’t have wanted their people fleeing to the US either.
Thanks for the info on the Cubana flights.

That’s a great way of finding the unusual aircraft. I do it also, although I usually scroll down to the section with 3 or less aircraft.

I also like doing the 1 or 2 operators section.

That is correct. Castro personally ordered these unarmed US citizens shot down. He also had their organization, Brothers to the Rescue, infiltrated with Cuban spies. The US never did anything about it.

That’s a great way of finding the unusual aircraft. I do it also, although I usually scroll down to the section with 3 or less aircraft.

I also like doing the 1 or 2 operators section

Yeah in both aircraft and operators there is some real obscure activity. I’ve noticed alot of NASA stuff through the week in the mid morning (CST or 1400Z-1800Z) time. U-2s and B-57’s namely. An occasional AN-2. I don’t even flinch when I see “Antonov” any more as it seems there’s always a 124 somewhere in the states.

Cockpit Transcript recorded from surviving Cessna N2506 in English. Recorder is in Spanish and includes a video of Fidel Castro admitting to ordering the shot down, (in Spanish).

Yes it does go both ways,you need to file and get approval 24 hr in adv,I flew c-340 from key west over cuba to grand caymen and back, the cuban controllers were E-Zer to understand than Miami ctr was and Cuba did a great have to do all the adiz type stuff,crossing times and all that but most of all pay all your fees!

That is correct. Castro personally ordered these unarmed US citizens shot down. He also had their organization, Brothers to the Rescue, infiltrated with Cuban spies. The US never did anything about it.

Wonder what the US would do if a bunch of guys from Cuba decided to buzz Miami dropping leaflets? Works both ways.

Post 9-11, they will be forced down, either by hook or crook…


It is well documented that they weren’t dropping any leaflets, or anything else, when their unarmed civilian plane, a Cessna, was shot down with an air to air missile fired from a Cuban fighter jet.

If an unarmed civilian Cuban plane (which already is an oxymoron) were to drop leaflets over Miami, I don’t see the Air Force shooting them down.

I am not going to go into the specifics of the Skymaster flights, but I beg to differ on your point about the U.S. Air Force not shooting down a foreign aircraft in U.S. airspace.

Though hypothetical, if I were to fly from Canada ( lets say from CYCC ) and vectored myself towards Boston, Albany NY or New York City and did not communicate with Boston Center or return calls to me, I am sure I would have a visit from an F-16 tasked with Domestic Air Patrol. In fact I doubt I would make it close to any of the city limits I cited.

Now take the same situation and make it a Cuban plane ( hostile country to the U.S. ) and I doubt it would have much hang time over Miami. I am assuming that the Cuban aircraft would not seek the proper authorization to enter U.S. airspace, just as the Skymasters in question would not and did not seek authorization to enter Cuban airspace.

How could the U.S. Government, after taking the stance it has on Domestic security after 9/11, allow for unauthorized overflights by foreign aircraft. It would be a political disaster.

No, I doubt that would happen.

We’ve published an in-depth documentary book about the shootdown of Brothers to the Rescue, including all of the events leading up to the shootdown and the events after the fact.

Here is the book announcement:

BETRAYAL: Clinton, Castro & the Cuban Five
By Matt Lawrence & Thomas Van Hare

In their new, compelling book, BETRAYAL, timed with the 13th anniversary of events, co-authors Matt Lawrence and Thomas Van Hare reveal the truth behind what happened on February 24, 1996, when Cuban MiG jet fighters shot down two Brothers to the Rescue aircraft in international waters, killing four men: Carlos Costa, Armando Alejandre, Jr., Mario de la Pena, and Pablo Morales.

After 13 years of extensive research and two years of writing, using full documentation, court records, sworn testimony, interviews and public sources, the authors don’t hesitate to name names – directly linking senior Clinton Administration officials Sandy Berger and Richard Nuccio to the event and highlighting diplomatic visits to Cuba by then Governor Bill Richardson, who may have had prior knowledge of the attack, yet did nothing to stop the shootdown and murder of American citizens by Cuba.

BETRAYAL not only highlights the shootdown, which in itself is a powerful experience, but completely documents surrounding events with interactive transcripts of the MiG pilots involved, the techniques incorporated by the La Red Avispa spy network and the arrest of Ana Belen Montes, Cuba’s “queen of spies.” BETRAYAL details the Washington COVER UP that followed the shootdown, painting a dark picture of White House errors, misdeeds and mistakes.

“BETRAYAL tells a stunning story of international intrigue and murder, revealing the truth behind the shootdown and attempted cover up of two Brothers to the Rescue aircraft on February 24, 1996.” — Reid Mullins, KTOK Radio.

“I could not put it down as I read page after page of accounts of deception and murder.” — Kevin Pakos, KXXT Radio.

BETRAYAL is a timely must read – hitting the presses as the Cuban Five, convicted spies serving sentences for their actions as part of the Cuban spy ring, La Red Avispa (Wasp Network) appeal their case to the U.S. Supreme Court – while Cuban Government officials make new entreaties to the Obama Administration to open relations and repatriate their spies.