Item 1.1.6 ICAO Report*

N5485S Additionally, the number of persons on board N2506 was revised to four, with four life jackets. while three orange smoke generators were added to the equipment carried by N5485S. The routing given in the revised flight plans was not changed. These three revised flight plans were transmitted to Miami ARTCC and Havana ACC.

1.1.6                                       According to the authorities in the United States, their radar recorded Cuban military aircraft activity north of Havana between 12:15 and 12:45 hours. According to the authorities in Cuba, there was no such activity at that time.

 

1.1.7                                       At 13:01 hours the three Cessna 337 aircraft (N2506, N2456S and N5485S) taxied from the Brothers to the Rescue hangar for rake-off. At 13:07 hours Opa Locka TWR reported to Miami ARTCC, in response to an earlier request for information on Brothers to the Rescue activity, that these three Brothers to the Rescue aircraft had taxied our for departure. The three aircraft departed runway 09L westbound at 13:11, 13:12 and 13:13 hours. At 13:14 hours Opa Locka TWR was asked by Miami ARTCC if any of the Brothers to the Rescue aircraft were airborne. Opa Locka TWR responded that the three Brothers to the Rescue aircraft had departed and were at that time westbound, just north of Opa Locka. Opa Locka TWR was requested to inform Miami ARTCC if any more Brothers to the Rescue aircraft were to depart.

 

1.1.8                                       Miami AIFSS (call sign Miami Radio) was contacted by each of the three Cessna aircraft after take-off, to activate their VFR flight plans. Activation of the flight plan was completed by 13:24 hours. Miami AIFSS transmitted departure messages for N5485S and N2506 to Miami ARTCC and Havana ACC. No departure message for N2456S was sent due to an operator error.

 

1.1.9                                       The three Cessna aircraft had arranged to be in contact with each other on VHF frequency 122.75 MHz. Routine arrangements had been made for the Brothers to the Rescue Opa Locka base to monitor the flight using VHF radio with a repeater or HF radio. The internal call signs of the three aircraft were: Seagull One (N2506), Seagull Charlie (N2456S) and Seagull Mike (N5485S).

 

1.1.10                                    The three Cessna aircraft did not follow the route given in the VFR flight plans. As recorded by United States air defence radar, the three aircraft proceeded initially west, then southwest reaching 25 16.4N 081 13.8W at 13:49 hours, then south to 24 10.3N 08113.4W, and turning at 14:23 hours to the west along the 24 10N parallel. The aircraft were reported to have maintained visual contact with each other. At 14:50 hours the three Cessna aircraft passed at position 24 09N 082 17W an opposite direction United States Navy P-3 Orion, which was at an altitude of approximately 900 ft.

 

1.1.11                                    At 14; 39 hours Cuban air defence radar detected aircraft noI1h of the 24N parallel. The aircraft exhibited transponder codes normally allocated to VFR flights. Two military interceptor aircraft at San Antonio de 105 Baos air base were brought to immediate readiness at 14:43 hours. The interceptors were armed with air-to-air, heat seeking missiles and cannon. These aircraft, a two seat MiG-29 OB and a MiG-23 ML took off at 14:55 hours to patrol 15 to 20 km north of the coast at altitudes between 200 and 500 m.

 

1.1.12                                    At 14:55 hours the three Cessna aircraft were recorded by United States defence radar at position 24 ION 082 30W, when they turned south following approximately 082 30W.

 

1.1.13                                    Cuban air defence radar reported aircraft 12 NM south of the 24N parallel at 15:00 hours. The radar record showed one aircraft (N2456S) in position 23 48N 082 02W and two other aircraft crossing the 24N parallel at 082 20W (N5485S) and 082 "'.4W (N2506), at approximately 15:00 hours.