Gyroplane Penetrates No-Fly Zone at US Capitol

Doug Hughes, 61, landed on the West Lawn to draw attention to campaign finance reform.
3:03 | 04/16/15

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Transcript for Gyroplane Penetrates No-Fly Zone at US Capitol
over Washington. Florida poetle worker somehow lands that gyrocopter right there on the capitol lawn. An act of civil disobedience. He managed to expose a security vulnerability. Jim Avila starts us off. Good morning, Jim. Reporter: Good morning, George. He landed in the shadow of the capitol dome. He's in a Washington, D.C., jail, awaiting charges. It floated in. Past the white house. Down the Washington mall. Over the monument. On a beeline for the nation's capitol. An ultralight helicopter, less than 500 pounds, and carrying one passenger. This is not good, people. Reporter: The gyroplane flying route through the no-fly zone. Landing right on the west lawn of the capitol. 100 yards from the speaker's balcony. Flown in protest by a former postal worker. I'm going to violate the no-fly zone. No one will get hurt. I'm going land on the mall, right in front of the capitol building. Reporter: But it was an immediate threat. How does an inindividual in the air vase get that close. Reporter: Especially when the pilot, identified at 61-year-old Doug Hughes from Florida, taken away in handcuffs, his gyrocopter checked out be a robot, and then cleared by the bomb squad. He made no secret of his plan to carry out a dramatic, bold act of civil disobedience. He told family and friends about the plan, intending to demand letters to congress, demanding change in campaign finance laws. What he wanted to do was very brave and all that, even if a little bit stupid. Reporter: And when his family called the secret service a year and a half ago, he told the agents of his plans, too. He told the local newspaper, which made this video of Hughes learning to fly the copter. All along emphasizing this was not terrorism, just a crazy stunt. Terrorists don't announce their flight bfrs they take off. Okay? Terrorists don't broadcast their flight path. No sane person could do what I'm doing. Reporter: A protest mission he was willing to die for. He knew the risks. He knew he could die. He knew he could be arrested. He knew he could go and go to jail. But he was willing to do that. Reporter: The secret service said in a statementover night they did investigate Hughes a year and a half ago. But no one warned them of the impending flight on the day of.

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