: ``Suffice to say this is a very lucky man to be alive
: right now,'' Customs spokesman Michael Sheehan
: said. ``We're glad the Cubans showed some restraint
: and luckily he was able to make it back to America
- in other words, a sole nutcase decided to violate international laws of the air, not to mention international safety laws.
By flying an unlisted civil flight into the airspace of another country, he was giving them carte blanche to shoot him down if they wanted to; they would have been legally well within their rights, even if it would have been viewed as a rather extreme reaction.
Unlisted flights are a real hazard to air traffic at low level; if this klutz had hit an airliner and caused it to crash, the US Government would have been liable for a multi-million dollar claim. There are very good commonsense safety reasons for not violating another country's airspace without asking them first.
The Cuban response was the standard in such cases; the intruder was politely but firmly escorted out of Cuban airspace; and the F-16s rendezvoused with the plane to make sure he didn't do anything even stupider and more illegal than he'd already done.
It was especially stupid in this case; given that the US has dropped bioweapons on Cuba 26 times in the last 40 years, it would have been entirely understandable if they had decided to shoot him down rather than expose the citizens of Havana to attack.
: Where are the big bad Mig jet fighter pilots? Excuse me? Could you speak up?
: Oh, yes, of course, I should've known, they don't like real competition, an even match, like a flight of pissed of F-15 Eagles just itching to splash 'em.
So, Frenchy, you're advocating a full-scale war on the basis of the actions of one lone nutcase? Are you related to Gavrilo Princip, by any chance?
Thank God that not everyone in the US is a gung-ho armchair warrior like you...