Gyrocopter lands on US Capitol's west lawn
Saturday, April 18, 2015
The mailman was flying his aircraft into restricted airspace when he landed on the lawn. He was immediately arrested. His stated intention was to deliver letters to all members ofconcerning campaign finance statutes. As a protective measure, the Capitol complex went on lockdown for a time.
Hughes told the United States Capitol Police, but reported some disagreement about this from Capitol Police. Hughes had no contact with during the incident.of his intentions to fly the light-weight aircraft. The paper said they alerted the Secret Service and the
The mailman said his intention was non-violent, but he wanted to spread the word about his cause. The Secret Service questioned him some months before the incident.
Hughes was charged underTitle 49, concerning transportation. He was released from jail under conditions including that he must not visit the US Capitol. He is currently under house arrest.
Besides this low-flying aircraft incident, a government employee crashed a drone onto the White House property a few months ago. Also, the Secret Service conducted drone exercises to combat against possibly rogue light-weight aircraft last month.
The airspace above the Washington D.C. region is protected below 18,000 feet MSL (Mean Sea Level) with the roughly fifteen-nautical-mile-radiuswhich surrounds the located at , which handles regularly scheduled commercial flights. Pilots are not allowed to fly in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area Special Flight Rules Area, which includes the Flight Restricted Zone, unless they have authorization and are able to maintain effective communication with air traffic control with a two-way radio. Pilots must obtain a transponder code when flying under in this area. Law enforcement and air ambulance operations are exempted from the FAA authorization requirement if they can maintain communications with air traffic control.
The FAA was investigating this incident, along with law enforcement agencies. Police found no explosives in the aircraft.
- Kristen Holmes, Wes Bruer. "Gyrocopter pilot who shut down Capitol released from jail" — , April 17, 2015
- "FAA Statement" — , April 15, 2015
- Lauren French. "Florida mailman detained after landing gyrocopter on Capitol lawn" — , April 15, 2015
- "Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 93" — , April 15, 2015