Historic Key West Flight to Cuba Recognized

May 17, 2013 No Comments by

The fuel was running perilously low, and the lubricating oil was nearly exhausted, but pioneering pilot Domingo Rosillo del Toro could see land ahead.

While three guns were fired from the Havana, Cuba, fortress to announce his arrival, Rosillo coaxed his one-seat, bright yellow plane with an overheating engine past a flotilla of boats, over the heads of 50,000 cheering countrymen, onto the grounds of Camp Columbia — and into history. Rosillo became the first pilot to fly from Key West, Fla., to Cuba, setting a world record for the longest flight over water — 90 miles. The date: May 17, 1913.

“He made the journey without even a float under him to save him from drowning if he should fall into the sea,” said a New York Times article written that day.

Today, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the daring feat, the Key West International Airport is hosting a 2 p.m. ceremony to unveil a bronze bust of the mostly forgotten aviator.

For the complete story by Cammy Clark of The Miami Herald, click here.
Civilian, Featured News

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Online Editor I've been around airplanes since I was a kid. That's when my uncle, a professional pilot, showed me how to fly his Cessna 177 Cardinal. l later became a writer and editor, so covering the exciting and ever-changing aviation industry -- which I've been doing in Flight Journal's Flybys since the late '90s -- was a natural fit.
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