Questions swirl over how small aircraft able to land on Capitol lawn without being shot down

Questions are swirling about how a postal worker from Florida managed to land a small gyrocopter Wednesday on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol without being shot out of the sky by authorities.

Mailman Doug Hughes took responsibility for the stunt on a website where he said he was delivering letters to all 535 members of Congress in order to draw attention to campaign finance corruption.

“As I have informed the authorities, I have no violence inclinations or intent,” Hughes wrote on his website, thedemocracyclub.org. “An ultralight aircraft poses no major physical threat — it may present a political threat to graft. I hope so. There’s no need to worry — I’m just delivering the mail.”

House Homeland Security panel Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said the pilot landed on his own, but that had he made it much closer to the Capitol authorities were prepared to shoot him down.

“Had it gotten any closer to the speaker’s balcony they have long guns to take it down, but it didn’t. It landed right in front,” McCaul said.

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