Dramatic new videos are surfacing of the pilot who buzzed Washington, D.C. in a one-man gyrocopter before coming to a soft landing on the lawn of the Capitol Building.
The knucklehead on board, 61-year-old Doug Hughes, a mailman, told The Tampa Bay Times newspaper about his crazy stunt in advance.
In a video, he said, "I am going to land on the lawn."
Hughes took off from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and flew approximately 70 miles to our nation's capital, right through a no-fly zone bristling with anti-aircraft defenses.
He flew very close to the Washington Monument. One tourist caught the dramatic moment his stunt reached its climax and said, "This is not good, people!"
The tourist was asked, "Is he allowed to do that?"
The woman taking the video said, "No, he's not."
INSIDE EDITION's Les Trent spoke to Ben Montgomery, The Tampa Bay Times reporter who knew about Hughes’ plans.
Montgomery said, “He knew he'd be arrested if he didn't get shot down.”
Trent asked, “You've heard the criticism today, people are saying, could you have done more to alert authorities to what he planned?”
Montgomery replied, “The Secret Service interviewed him twice a year ago. The authorities knew, he was on their radar. When he was in the air, one of my colleagues called the authorities and said, 'Do you know there's a man headed toward the no-fly zone in a gyrocopter?' This guy didn’t hurt anybody. He wanted to get attention and bring a message to the legislature. He did that without hurting anybody.
How safe do we need to be? Do you shoot someone like that out of the sky?”
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So, what's it like flying a gyrocopter?
Enthusiasts were out in force at an airfield in Wauchula, Florida, today. Bob Snyder’s company, Autogyro, builds fancy versions of the gyrocopters.
He said, “They’re not difficult to fly. So you must have some training.”
He says he's horrified by what Hughes did.
"We are trying to promote safety, part of that safety is decision making and obviously, that pilot didn't make the right decision," said Snyder.
Hughes' family has hit the headlines under dramatic circumstances before. His 24-year-old son committed suicide by driving head-on into another vehicle two years ago. The other driver was also killed. Now comes this latest bizarre incident.