The head of the Senate homeland security committee, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), said on Thursday that he plans to investigate how a Florida man was able to fly a gyrocopter through restricted airspace and land on the U.S. Capitol lawn.
Johnson released a statement saying that the Wednesday incident demonstrated that “the risk to America and Americans is ever present” and that he planned to demand answers from agencies in charge of security.
“I am deeply concerned that someone has the ability to fly for over an hour through the most restricted airspace in our country, past the White House, and land on the lawn of the Capitol,” Johnson said. “Mr. Hughes has been arrested and charged under the Transportation Act. I am investigating this incident and I am requesting a full accounting by all federal organizations entrusted with securing the United States from this and similar events. While Mr. Hughes’ guilt or innocence must still be determined by the courts, the apparent details serve as a reminder that the risk to America and Americans is ever present.”
The gyrocopter was flown by 61-year-old Doug Hughes, a mailman from Ruskin, Fla., who was attempting to hand-deliver letters asking members of Congress to act on campaign finance reform.