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The PJ Tatler

Dan Miller


August 7, 2011 - 4:50 pm

According to this article,

A Mexican military helicopter landed Saturday afternoon at Laredo International Airport by mistake, said a spokeswoman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Mucia Dovalina, the uniform public affairs officer for the Laredo Port of Entry, said the helicopter landed about 3 p.m., but she couldn’t share details such as the number of occupants or whether they were armed.

Dovalina said that, following protocol, CBP officers checked out the helicopter’s occupants, then allowed them to return to Mexico in the aircraft.

“The only thing that I can tell you is that they did land here,” she said. “It was by mistake. They were processed and they were returned to Mexico.”

According to a statement from CBP, the pilot mistook the airport for a landing strip in Nuevo Laredo.

This is the latest such incursion that officials have called inadvertent as the Mexican military increases troop deployments in northeastern Mexico.

The Laredo International Airport has two  runways running in parallel and another intersecting them at approximately a thirty degree angle, as shown on the diagram provided here. The “landing strip in Nuevo Laredo” has only one runway, as shown on the satellite photo provided here. The configuration of the Neuvo Laredo airport becomes more obvious as the image is enlarged.

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Mistakes of that sort are, of course, common when the pilot is blind.

Was it a “mistake?” Possible, I suppose.  However,  many things done intentionally turn out to have been mistakes.

Dan Miller graduated from Yale University in 1963 and from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1966. He retired from the practice of law in Washington, D.C., in 1996 and has lived in a rural area in Panama since 2002.
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