To make a point about federal corruption caused by money in politics, 61-year-old Doug Hughes flew his gyrocopter onto the West Lawn of the Capitol building with letters to Congress calling for reform in hand.
Undetected by NORAD, Hughes flew from Maryland to Washington D.C.
He was greeted by Capitol Hill police upon landing and was taken into custody.
The fact that he was able to slip an aircraft through secure airspace has raised concerns about security in the nations’ capitol, but that was not the message that the pilot wanted to send.
“He has no weapons or anything else,” said Michael Shanahan, a friend of Hughes. “I know him personally. He’s like a pitbull when he has an idea. He wants to wake up the country.”
Despite Hughes publishing his intent to make his trip to Washington on video, there was no extra heightened security in the prohibited capital airspace and politicians were not informed.
“He’s upset that politicians can be bought and sold at auction, and I agree with him. That’s the point he’s trying [to make]” Shanahan said. “Happy he made it alive. I want to thank the people who decided not to kill him.”
One of the problems that Hughes was trying to highlight is how money is more important than votes in the American political system, as depicted in the graph below originally from The Center for Responsive Politics found in an article on Vox.
Hughes’ video is below where he explains his motivations and admits “No sane person would do what I’m doing.”
“I have carefully planned it so that no one will get hurt,” says Hughes. “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.”
Check it out.
[CNN][Photo courtesy CNBC]