Spectators in Washington, DC gazed at the sky on April 14 as a small plane flew around the Washington Monument and eventually landed on the Capitol’s lawn.
The Capitol’s Police immediately addressed the security threat by saying, “The U.S. Capitol Police is investigating a gyro copter with a single occupant that has landed on the grassy area of the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The U.S. Capitol Police continues to investigate with one person detained and temporary street closures in the immediate area.” CNN News posted the quote several minutes after the incident.
The Capitol’s Police informed the press approximately an hour after the incident that the event was definitely not affiliated with any terrorist organizations.
A gyrocopter is a futuristic looking aircraft that has the characteristics of both an airplane and a helicopter. The aircraft is designed to be flown by one person for short flights. It is not designed to move fast or at a high altitude.
It was not apparent until several hours after the landing of the aircraft that the pilot did not intend to harm anyone or anything. He claimed to land his plane at the Capitol in order to make a political statement about our nations congress.
This stunt has raised many questions. Americans have recently been scrutinizing national security saying that it is not sufficient even though billions of dollars each year are spent on it.
The FAA released a statement several days after the incident saying, “The small gyrocopter did not come up on our radar due to filters that are being used.” The FAA claimed that they often filter out small objects such as birds and balloons. The small characteristics of the plane matches those of a small flock of birds.
Immediately after the gyrocopter touched down, the man responsible for the crime was taken into custody. Local bomb squads searched the area before officers removed the plane from the west lawn. No explosive devices were detected.
Police reported that the man did not show any signs of aggression while being arrested. His stunt was simply a statement. The mailman is currently being detained in Washington, DC and is awaiting his trial.