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Florida gyrocopter pilot driving home to await next hearing

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Doug Hughes flies his gyrocopter near the Wauchula Municipal Airport in Wauchula, Fla. Police didn't immediately identify the man who steered his one-person helicopter onto the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, but Hughes, a Florida postal carrier, took responsibility for the stunt on a website.
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RUSKIN, Fla. >> A mail carrier is driving back to Florida to await his next hearing for flying his gyrocopter onto the U.S. Capitol lawn.

Doug Hughes was charged with operating an unregistered aircraft and violating national airspace after landing his gyrocopter near Congress on Wednesday.

The 61-year-old told the Tampa Bay Times on Friday that he was driving back to his Tampa Bay-area home. Hughes said he needs to arrive in Ruskin before Monday, when his house arrest begins.

He will wear an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet until a May 8 court hearing in Washington, D.C.

Hughes flew his gyrocopter onto the Capitol lawn to call attention to his belief that campaign finance laws are too week. His wife told The Associated Press on Friday that Hughes was a patriot.

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