Damn you, Fidel. Don't you have enough to occupy your attention witha cholera outbreak spreading across Cuba
, and your all-star baseball team tryingto topple the Yanquis in Havana
? Can't you stopsending secret messages to our crazy people in California
demanding that they hijack helicopters for your nefarious purposes?
That's exactly what happened in Yuba, California (the "Prune Capital of the World") last week.
On Thursday, helicopter pilot Erik Vandagriff was preparing for takeoff at the Yuba County airport when 20-year-old Zachary Hinders opened the door and jumped in.
"The initial thought was maybe there's an emergency or there's something wrong with the aircraft," Vandagriff tells Sacramento's CBS13.
But no -- Hinders was set to hijack the helicopter, telling Vandagriff only that "he wanted to go somewhere."
Sadly, the would-be terrorist forgot to bring any kind of weapon, so Vandagriff just opened the door and told him to beat it.
"I told him, 'We're not taking you anywhere. You need to get away from us,'" the pilot tells CBS13.
Hinders eventually listened, jumping back out, running across the runway, and hopping a barbed-wire fence. When police caught up with him on Saturday and arrested him, Hinders had a simple explanation.
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Fidel Castro told him to take the helicopter, he said.
Out in California, the operating theory is that this Hinders kid has a bolt or two loose.
But if you've been reading any of Fidel's newspaper columns lately, ordering a crazed 20-year-old in rural Cali to take a helicopter doesn't actually seem all that farfetched.