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Saturday, March 2, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Wayward Gyrocopter Puts Capitol on Lockdown

WASHINGTON (CN) - Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's dangerously close to being shot down by U.S. Capitol Police.

The pilot and sole passenger of a gyrocopter was taken into custody Wednesday after he landed the machine on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. As one would imagine, the pilot is accused of breaking at least one aviation law by disobeying flight restrictions surrounding the nation's capital.

CNN identified the pilot as a Florida resident, saying he landed his gyrocopter at The Capitol to protest a Supreme Court decision related to Citizens United, allowing unlimited donations to political campaigns.

The Capitol was put on lockdown in the wake of the incident, the second time in a week that the building was out on heightened alert. Last week, a man died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound outside the building.

No press releases on the gyrocopter landing were posted to the Capitol Police website as of Wednesday afternoon, though Capitol Police Lt. Kimberly Schneider told CNN that streets surrounding The Capitol had been closed and an investigation had already been launched into exactly why the pilot landed his gyrocopter on federal property.

According to the website Gyrocopter Experience , a "Gyrocopter looks like a small helicopter but the main difference is there is no engine turning the rotors."

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