Man flies mini copter into Capitol lawn, causes lockdown

Man flies his mini helicopter into US Capitol, landing it near Congress building, violating no-fly zone and causing lockdown

Updated Jul 28, 2015

A Florida mailman landed his mini helicopter on the U.S. Capitol lawn near Congress building, triggering lockdown in the area and raising security concerns for the main government buildings.

Doug Hughes (61) was arrested and charged with violating transport rules by the police as the area around the Capitol and White House is a no fly zone.

"The U.S. Capitol Police Hazardous Devices Section [bomb squad] is continuing to investigate the gyro copter," security sources said and agencies reported there was nothing hazardous in the small aircraft.

The area was closed to traffic and locked down for security reasons until the small aircraft was removed from the scene.

The U.S. Capitol Police did not comment about the motive of Mr. Hughes but his interview to the Tampa Bay Times about a year ago, where he says he will actually fly his mini copter to the Capitol, suggests he did it to protest corruption and raise awareness for campaign finance reform.

“I am gonna violate the no fly zone, nonviolently, nobody will get hurt. And I am going to land on the Capitol hall, in front of the Capitol building. I am going to have 535 letters strapped to the landing gear, in boxes. And those letters are going to be addressed to every member of Congress,” Hughes said, promising his action in his interview.

“There's no question that we need government, but we don't have to accept that it's a corrupt government that sells out to the highest bidder,” mailman said explaining his motive as a protest of election campaign finance.

“I'm demanding reform and declaring a voter's rebellion in a manner consistent with Jefferson's description of rights in the Declaration of Independence,” he wrote in his letters addressing congressmen.

Hughes took off from near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and traveled about 110 km to reach the Capitol before landing stunned gazes of bystanders and security officials.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said it was investigating the incident.

The incident raised security concerns about the Capitol because of recent incidents of security breach.

Last week a man committed suicide in front of the Capitol and sparked a temporary lockdown.

TRTWorld and agencies