WASHINGTON -- Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) wants to know “how the heck” a man was able to fly a small aircraft, known as a gyrocopter, onto the Capitol Hill lawn on Wednesday.
The pilot of that gyrocopter, Doug Hughes, is a mailman from Ruskin, Florida. Hughes had told the Tampa Bay Times that he would fly his gyrocopter to the Capitol to deliver letters to every member of Congress "demanding reform and declaring a voter's rebellion.”
Schumer appeared quite perturbed when asked about the incident on Thursday, saying it “raises a whole lot of questions.”
“How the heck did it happen?” he asked. “Just saying it’s a little helicopter or it’s one person or it’s harmless does not answer these questions, and we need to know what happened.”
When asked what his other questions might be, Schumer sounded off: “How’d it happen? How’d the helicopter get through? Why weren’t there alarm bells that went off? Why wasn’t it intercepted? Did we know about it? How far from the Capitol grounds did we know?”
The senator is confident he will get answers once the investigation is wrapped up. Schumer also said he’s asked the Federal Aviation Administration to make sure manufacturers program drones to stay away from off-limits locations like the White House and the Pentagon.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the Capitol Police are looking into the gyrocopter incident along with the Department of Defense, Secret Service and FAA.
“It’s a stunning thing to think of, that we have that disability ... but we certainly need answers to it,” Pelosi said Thursday.