Capitol Lawn Gyrocopter Pilot Pleads Guilty

Doug Hughes, the Florida mailman and gyrocopter pilot who landed on the Capitol lawn in April, has pleaded guilty to a felony charge of flying a gyrocopter without a license. Federal prosecutors had originally filed six charges against Hughes, who was at threat of serving as much as six years behind bars for the stunt. However, five of those charges were dropped.

Hughes' gyrocopter has been taken away and he has been restricted to his home county since the debacle. The sentence is expected in the next day or two, but Hughes has asked a favor of the judge. He wishes that the sentence will allow him to participate in a demonstration of civil disobedience in which demonstrators will walk from Philadelphia to Washington in early April to encourage Congress to put limits on superPACs and 501c4 organizations, NPR said.

Hughes had flown his Gyrocopter to the Capitol to deliver letters to senators and House members in an effort to reform campaign contributions.

Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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