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    A gyrocopter (L) is pictured in this still image taken from video after it landed on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington April 15, 2015

    US Gyrocopter Pilot Released Amid Discussions About Security in Washington

    © REUTERS / Courtesy of NBC4/WRC/Handout via Reuters
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    A Florida postal worker who flew his gyrocopter onto the lawn of the US Congress was released from prison amid discussions about security vulnerabilities.

    WAHSINGTON (Sputnik) — A Florida postal worker who flew his gyrocopter onto the lawn of the US Congress was released from prison amid discussions about security vulnerabilities despite of an existing no-fly zone over Washington, DC, according to media reports.

    “A Florida postal worker who managed to land a small helicopter on the lawn of the US Capitol — without being detected ahead of time — was released by a federal judge on his own recognizance Thursday afternoon,” WJLA Channel 7 ABC Washington, DC reported on Thursday.

    On Wednesday, the US Capitol Police arrested Florida postal worker Doug Hughes who managed to fly his gyrocopter from his Florida home to the lawn of US Capitol Building.

    Hughes must now check in weekly with authorities in Tampa, Florida, after being charged with operating an unregistered aircraft and violating national airspace.

    A small helicopter (L) is pictured in this still image taken from video after it landed on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington April 15, 2015
    © REUTERS / Courtesy of NBC4/WRC/Handout via Reuters
    Retired US Air Force Officer Carl Baker told Sputnik on Thursday the gyrocopter incident illuminates the fact that the nation’s capital — and the United States — is not fully secure from attacks, including from the air, despite an existing no-fly zone.

    “The United States is, and has for some time, I think 9-11 was the big turning point, tried to create a sense of total and complete security,” Baker said on Thursday. “You have to condition the American public to realize we [United States] are vulnerable. You cannot build a concrete dome to protect the US.”

    Baker said the Florida pilot proved the authorities have not developed a defense system to eliminate every threat, though they can limit the size or restrict the sale and use of new technologies such as drones.

    “You have to accept that Amazon will use gyrocopters to deliver goods, and then someone can carry a homemade device on one to blow something up somewhere,” he added.

    Baker concluded as the United States moves away from the September 11 terrorist attacks, there needs to be growing recognition that “vulnerabilities to the US defense still exist.”

    The US Capitol was evacuated in June 2014 when an anonymous plane invaded the Washington, DC airspace, but finally eventually landed in Virginia. The District of Columbia went to AIRCON RED, setting up security protocols and evacuating people in the Capitol.


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