When a Lone MiG-23 Invaded Florida

March 20th, 1991 – Cuban Air Force pilot Major Orestes Lorenzo Perez directs his Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23BN Northbound, and touches down unannounced on the runways at Naval Air Station Key West, Florida. Major Lorenzo, was astounded to have been able to penetrate US airspace and land at a Navy Base without any resistance as U.S. fighters were never scrambled to intercept the Cuban fighter jet. The The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 NATO reporting name: Flogger) designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich simply landed at Naval Air Station Key West, and taxied in. Embarrassed military authorities attempted to explain it away with "hardware and software problems" with the radar network.

On December 19th, 1992, Major Perez borrowed a Cessna 310, and flew directly back to Cuba, but with a different mission. Once his Cessna twin arrived in Northern Matanzas Province, Orestes Lorenzo Perez proceeded to land his aircraft on a bridge along the coastal highway of El Mamey beach in Varadero, Matanzas Province, 93 miles from Havana. There his wife Victoria and their two sons, Reyneil, 11, and Alejandro, 6, were eagerly awaiting his arrival. Orestes Lorenzo Perez successfully picked up his wife and two kids, firewalls the little Cessna, and made a beeline back North to Florida.


  • Maurys Alfonso

    Not over the bridge certainly but very close in a straigth part of the highway closer to the sea. I remember that as I was born on that city a while ago, I had 7 at that time.

  • Frank

    Looks like a MiG-27 Flogger D

  • Philippe A Bruneau

    Amazing story. Did the US military ever ‘fix’ their software & hardware issues within the radar network?

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