The U.S. Navy handed over a Soviet-built jet to a Cuban pilot Friday, nine days after a defector flew the plane to Key West, a Navy spokeswoman said.

The pilot and a maintenance crew retrieved the MiG-23 under provisions of an anti-hijacking treaty requiring the return of aircraft belonging in another nation.The Cuban crew took about five hours to clear Customs and prepare the plane for the flight back, said Ensign Robin Perkins, spokeswoman for Key West Naval Air Station.