Lawmaker: Gyrocopter pilot flew 30 miles in restricted space

Written by The Associated Press | Apr 23, 2015 2:02 AM

Photo by AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

(Washington) -- The chairman of the House oversight committee says a Florida postal carrier steered his small gyrocopter through protected Washington airspace for 30 miles to the U.S. Capitol without being stopped. 

Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz of Utah says Doug Hughes is "lucky to be alive'' and "should have been blown out of the air.''

He spoke after a closed-door briefing from the Secret Service and Capitol Police for top members of Congress. 

Chaffetz says security tracked Hughes as he flew from the Gettysburg airport to the lawn of the U.S. Capitol last week.

He says a decision was made not to shoot Hughes down. 

The incident exposed a gap in the government's efforts to ensure the security of the White House, Capitol and other critical buildings in Washington.  

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