Doug Hughes, a 61-year-old mailman from Florida, was on his way to deliver a package this afternoon.
But this was no ordinary delivery. Landing on the lawn of the US Capitol building in his gyrocopter, Hughes had intended to deliver letters of protest to legislators calling for campaign finance reform.
He was arrested immediately.
“Terrorists don’t announce their flights before they take off. Terrorists don’t broadcast their flight path. Terrorists don’t invite an escort to go along with them,” said Hughes in a video before the flight. “I have got a plane. A gyroplane. And I’m going to fly it. I’m going to violate the no fly zone, nonviolently. I intend for nobody to get hurt. And I’m going to land on the Capitol Mall in front of the Capitol building. I’m going to have 535 letters strapped to the landing gear in boxes and those letters will be addressed to every member of Congress.”
In an interesting twist… The Tampa Bay Times was apparently aware of Hughes’ plan as they wrote a piece on him before the flight as well as the preflight video.
His stated intent: to buzz through the air at 45 miles per hour at about 300 feet up in an ultralight gyrocopter toward Washington, D.C., toward protected airspace, where, if his plan works, he’ll land on the lawn of the United States Capitol building and deliver the mail.
Of course, Doug Hughes might be shot out of the sky. He knows this. He has thought about it day and night for more than two years, wrestling with the tiniest details of his insane plan.
“No sane person,” he said, “would do what I’m doing.”
The Capitol was briefly placed on lockdown during Hughes’ landing.
For more info, check out The Tampa Bay Times story here.
Watch the video on Hughes below: