Doug Hughes of Florida ID’d as Pilot of Helicopter That Landed at Capitol

April 15, 2015 Updated: April 15, 2015

Dough Hughes of Florida has been named as the man who landed a small helicopter at the Capitol lawn on Wednesday, prompting a security scare.

Hughes, who works for the postal service, talked to the Tampa Bay Times of his plan to land his aircraft on the lawn. 

He said he wanted to deliver campaign reform messages to each member of Congress. 

“I’m demanding reform and declaring a voter’s rebellion in a manner consistent with Jefferson’s description of rights in the Declaration of Independence,” he wrote in his letters. “As a member of Congress, you have three options. 1. You may pretend corruption does not exist. 2. You may pretend to oppose corruption while you sabotage reform. 3. You may actively participate in real reform.”

Hughes, 61, admitted that he could be shot out of the sky but said he’d been working on his plan for over two years. 

“Somebody will realize that they’ve got to modify the playbook and they’ll probably scramble a helicopter,” he said.

“They’ll scramble a Blackhawk from Quantico, and there’s a 50-50 chance that a Blackhawk at full throttle will overfly me and realize that he’s missed and he’ll have to come back. Again, I’m going to fly low and slow and these guys are going to have a full head of adrenaline. Eventually, I’m hoping the Blackhawk will catch up with me about the time that the authorities realize that I’m not a threat and knocking me down is not a politically savvy move, and I anticipate having an escort all the way in. I’m hoping for a friendly escort.”

Hughes actually landed safely on the lawn on Wednesday, before being taken into custody by Capitol Police, who had not been informed of his plans.

Hughes also said he knew he’d likely lose his job and perhaps his family for a spell, if he’s sentenced to any prison time. But he wanted to spread messages of reform. 

“We’re heading full-throttle toward a breakdown,” he said. “There’s no question that we need government, but we don’t have to accept that it’s a corrupt government that sells out to the highest bidder. We can have a government that works for the people, that answers to the people, that can only take money from the people in small amounts.”

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