Pilot Noticed That The Airplane Was Producing More Smoke Than Was Normal

Location: Opa-Locka, FL Accident Number: ERA23LA058
Date & Time: November 14, 2022, 13:30 Local Registration: CU-A1885
Aircraft: Antonov AN2 Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Public aircraft

On November 14, 2022, about 1330 eastern standard time, an Antonov AN2 airplane, Cuban registration CU-A1885 was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Opa-Locka, Florida. The pilot, and copilot, were not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 public use ferry flight.

On October 21, 2022, about 0700 a pilot seeking asylum in the United States departed Sancti Spiritus Airport (MUSS), Sancti Spiritus, Cuba. After radioing air traffic control that he was running low on fuel, he landed the airplane at Dade – Collier training and Transition Airport (TNT), Miami Florida.

After landing at TNT, the pilot was detained, and the airplane was taken into custody by United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Custody of the airplane was transferred to a national seized property contractor, who then hired a subcontractor to move the airplane. The subcontractor determined that the airplane was airworthy and decided to fly it from TNT to Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE), Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where it could then be placed in a general property warehouse.

Prior to takeoff from TNT, the pilots performed preflight and runup inspections. After the runup he and the copilot departed for FXE about 1306. After a few minutes of flight, the pilot noticed that the airplane was producing more smoke than was normal.

The pilots continued the flight and were flying over a canal that ran through the Everglades with a levee on the east side of the canal. About 1325, the engine started to lose power, the airspeed decreased, and the airplane began descending. About 1330, when the airplane was about 15 miles west of Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport (OPF), Miami, Florida, the pilot aligned the airplane with the levee and touched down on the main landing gear. As the tailwheel was about to touch down, the airplane turned to the left, and the pilot was unable to keep the airplane on the levee. The airplane then rolled down the bank on the side of the levee, contacted the water, nosed over, and came to rest inverted in water and vegetation.

Review of photographs provided by the Federal Aviation Administration indicated that the airplane was substantially damaged.

The airplane was retained by the NTSB for examination.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov