Postal Worker Lands Gyrocopter On US Capitol
Lawn In Protest
April 15, 2015 - On Wednesday, about 1:23 PM, 61
year old Doug Hughes, a postal worker in
landed his gyrocopter on the lawn of the U.S.
Capitol. The gyrocopter was fitted for and
carried 535 letters of protest for campaign
finance which were addressed to the 535 members
Following September 11 attacks on the WorldTradeCenter's TwinTowers there was a no-fly zone set up
around most of
WashingtonDC government buildings. When Hughes placed
his gyrocopter on a trailer and drove up to
Pennsylvanian from Florida, then departed in
the gyrocopter, and headed down National Mall
and landed in front of the Capitol he was very
lucky that he was not shot out of the sky.
Although the Capital Police, Secret Service and
DC police were aware of Hughes intentions, he
was very lucky that the North American Aerospace
Defense Command (NORAD) was not given the
command to shoot him down.
wrote in a blog before the flight "The point of
the flight is to spotlight corruption in DC and
more importantly, to present the solution(s) to
the institutional graft."
"Let me assure you, as I have informed the
authorities, I have no violent inclinations or
intent. An ultralight aircraft poses no major
physical threat, it may present a political
threat to graft. I hope so. There’s no need to
worry, I’m just delivering the mail. This isn’t
my regular route."
"The situation, as I see it, is this a sold-out
Congress, a network of corporate clients and
lobbyists prepared to generously reward Congres-critters
who vote as they are sold told, the network and
cable media, who should be the safety valve in a
functioning democracy, but is fully enlisted in
"Anybody in politics or the news media who want
to spend inordinate amounts of time talking
about me is avoiding the real discussion, which
is about Congress. “It’s not about
me.” is a truism more true about an
old mailman from Florida that it’s ever been about anyone.
There are concrete plans for reform and great
communicators ... Let’s keep the discussion
focused on reform, not me, I’m just delivering
the mail." Upon landing, Hughes surrendered
The FAA is working with its aviation security partners in
the DC area to investigate this incident.
The pilot was not in contact with FAA air
traffic controllers and the FAA did not
authorize him to enter restricted airspace.
Airspace security rules that cover the
Capitol and the District of Columbia
prohibit private aircraft flights without
prior coordination and permission. Violators
may face civil and criminal penalties under
14CFR Part 93V.
Homeland Security panel Chairman Michael McCaul said authorities were prepared to
shoot him down if he had made it much closer
to the Capitol. Had it gotten any closer to
the speaker's balcony, they have long guns
to take it down, but it didn't. It landed
right in front."
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