White House gyrocopter man faces 9 1/2 years in prison
The Floridian postal worker who landed a gyrocopter on the White House lawn on April 15 now faces up to 9 1/2 years in prison. Douglas Hughes, who flew the gyrocopter through restricted airspace to reach the White House on Tax Day, did so to protest big money in politics while also exposing gaps in the Capitol's security coverage. Hughes, 61, faces two felony charges: violating aircraft registration requirements and operating as an airman without a certificate. He faces three misdemeanor charges for violating national defense airspace, and one for operating a vehicle falsely labeled as a postal carrier (the gyrocopter had a Postal Service logo on its tail). In total, the charges could amount to 9 1/2 years in prison. He may also have to forfeit the gyrocopter.