After intense working hours, which included changing the damaged engine, and improvising a rustic track, right in the middle of the Escambray Mountains, the fallen plane got to fly again and returned to Sancti Spiritus.
When Ruben Ramirez realized that the instruments of his AN-2CX light aircraft were damaged, he did not even seem to pray to all saints: “If I tell you I thought of my family, or that I got nervous, I would certainly be dishonest to you. Up there I was so tense, I could think of nothing”, said to digital Escambray the man who does not yet believe the hero he has turned himself into.
“Now I’m called St Valentine, because I managed to save my crew and land the aircraft with only minimal damages, exactly on February 14th, he jokes around while aware of all the odds playing against them that day.
The accident occurred when the aircraft, in charge of the press distribution in the mountainous region of the Cuban provinces of Cienfuegos and Sancti Spiritus, had an engine failure while flying at about 600 meter from earth and with third part of the fuel in the tanks.
The plane fell on a completely-surrounded-by-hills area, but the pilot was skilful enough to get it landed over the only piece of plain ground. A team of experts travelled there the same day of the accident in order to get the craft repaired.
“These kinds of accidents occur frequently but mostly in plains. What is extraordinary is that it happened in a very irregular field”, explains Ernesto Ignacio Cuellar, director of the local unit that belongs to the Air Service National Company (ENSA, in Spanish).