In an apparent act of “peaceful” protest, 61-year-old Doug Hughes violated the no-fly zone in Washington, D.C., and landed his “gyrocopter” on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. He was reportedly confronted and arrested by Capitol police immediately after landing.
it's a small "gyrocopter" – he's been arrested by Capitol Police pic.twitter.com/XlqinJcMy7
— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) April 15, 2015
The man was seemingly on a mission. He previously revealed to the Tampa Bay Times that he intended to bring with him letters for every member of Congress, urging them to reform campaign finance law.
Prior to his flight, Hughes, a reported mailman from Ruskin, apparently proclaimed that he is not a terrorist and had no plans to crash into any buildings or monuments. After his arrest, a bomb squad was seen inspecting the gyrocopter.
Watch raw footage of the landing via the Associated Press:
“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. We can have a government that works for the people, that answers to the people, that can only take money from the people in small amounts,” Hughes told the Tampa Bay Times.
However, he admitted that “no sane person would do what I’m doing” and said it was within the realm of possibility that he could be shot out of the sky. Hughes had reportedly been visited by the U.S. Secret Service before the flight.
Hughes also said he expects to lose his job over his act of protest, but is willing to take the “ultimate risk” to bring attention to what he claims is a political system that has corrupted by large sums of money.
He planned to bring with him 535 two-page letters into 535 envelopes in boxes attached to the landing gear, one for every single member of Congress.
“And I will tell you completely honestly: I’d rather die in the flight than live to be 80 years old and see this country fall,” he added.
Watch what is essentially Hughes’ video manifesto below: