World: Freedom-Bound by Air

Dissidents from Eastern Europe have fled westward in recent years in everything from hot-air balloons to homemade tanks, but last week Aurel Popescu, 27, established a first. He and the 19 relatives he brought with him were the first Rumanian defectors to flee in a crop duster.

Popescu's two-hour, 300-mile hedgehop from the Rumanian town of Arad to Feldbach, an Austrian village ten miles inside the Austro-Hungarian frontier, in a single-engine Antonov2 biplane was almost flight-plan perfect. He loaded his passengers on a craft designed for no more than 14 people, then flew 150...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!