D.C. Gyrocopter Pilot Faces Stiff Prison Term

Former postal worker could get six years behind bars.

Douglas Hughes, the gyrocopter pilot who intentionally violated Washington, D.C.'s restricted airspace last month and landed on the lawn in front of the Capitol building, is facing a lengthy prison sentence after being indicted by a federal grand jury yesterday.

The most serious charges Hughes faces are for flying without a proper pilot certificate and violating aircraft registration regulations. He also faces a lesser charges of breaching D.C. restricted airspace and putting a U.S. Postal Service logo on his gyrocopter.

If found guilty, Hughes could be sentenced to more than six years in prison and face stiff fines. He has been placed under house arrest and ordered not to fly while his case proceeds.

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