Gyrocopter Pilot Has No Regrets, Vows Not to Do It Again
The pilot who landed his gyrocopter on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol is now facing charges that carry up to 9 1/2 years in prison.
Harris Faulkner reported that Douglas Hughes was indicted by a grand jury on six charges yesterday.
"Let me be clear, I will never do anything like this again,” Hughes told reporters outside a federal courthouse in Washington D.C. “But I would do it exactly the way I did."
Faulkner said that Hughes pleaded not guilty in court today.
The Associated Press reported:
The charges Hughes now faces include two felonies: operating as an airman without an airman's certificate and violating aircraft registration requirements. Those charges carry a maximum of three years in prison. He is also facing three misdemeanor offenses of violating national defense airspace, each carrying a maximum of one year in prison.
Hughes, 61, who had been employed as a postal carrier and lives in Ruskin, Florida, also faces a misdemeanor charge of operating a vehicle falsely labeled as postal carrier. The tail section of Hughes' gyrocopter carried a Postal Service logo. That charge carries a statutory maximum of six months in prison.
The charges Hughes faces also carry potential fines. The indictment says that if he is convicted of one or both of the felonies, prosecutors will ask that a judge order him to forfeit the gyrocopter.
Hughes has been ordered by a judge to wear an ankle bracelet with GPS tracking. He is also prohibited from being in Washington, except for court appearances and meeting with his lawyer.
Watch the video above.
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