Pilot Arrested After Small Aircraft Lands Near Capitol (Update: Man Identified as 61 Year Old Doug Hughes)
BIZARRE … HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN IN A POST-9-11 WORLD?
A small single man aircraft flew through restricted airspace in Washington, DC and landed on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The pilot was arrested after making what he called an act of civil disobedience and a protest against campaign finance reform. WHAT THE HELL? According to authorities, no weapons were found on the plane and a bomb squad found nothing hazardous on the aircraft. With all the screw-ups lately by the Secret Service in allowing individuals onto the White House grounds, maybe some one would like to explain this one?
HOW IN THE WORLD DID THIS FLYING GO-CART, GYROPLANE, MAKE IT THRU RESTRICTED AIRSPACE AND THIS CLOSE TO THE CAPITAL WITHOUT GETTING BLOWN OUT OF THE SKY?
A Florida mailman bent on making a public statement about corruption in Congress flew a small one-man aircraft through restricted airspace and landed on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, the latest in a recent series of startling security breaches at the seat of government in Washington.
No weapons were found on the plane and the man stated he was making an act of civil disobedience. But the sight of his low and slow-flying aircraft approaching and landing by Washington’s most famous landmarks prompted a brief security lockdown at the Capitol and raised broader concerns about the effectiveness of security measures in an area that home to all three branches of government.
He described the plane as “a 250-pound ultralight gyroplane,” a type of aircraft often called a “gyrocopter,” made from kits and propelled by a small motor with room for only a pilot on board. “I’m the pilot,” he wrote.
“What’s unique and newsworthy is the delivery,” he wrote to the TV station. “I’m going to land my gyro on the front lawn of the Capitol Building at the top end of the National Mall. The issue is important enough to defy the no-fly zone and risk life and limb, and my freedom in pursuit of an honest government that represents the people.”
On the website, he wrote: “This isn’t my regular route. I’m a mailman in Riverview, FL – near Tampa. I’m 61 years old, married, with four children. I flew with my father who was a private pilot, fixed wing and almost helicopter. I’ve been flying gyrocopters for over a year.”