Light aircraft that can fly under the radar represent a “real threat” to Washington’s closely watched airspace, according to a Texas congressman who said Sunday that the Florida man who landed a small helicopter on the U.S. Capitol’s front yard exposed a vulnerability of prime terrorist targets.
Rep. Michael McCaul, who chairs the House Committee on Homeland Security, said mailman-turned-activist Doug Hughes is emblematic of a new challenge for the capital’s security agencies.
Earlier this year, a government employee accidentally crashed a small, remote-controlled drone on the White House grounds in the middle of the night.
Last week, Mr. Hughes was quickly arrested after he landed his single-occupant gyrocopter at the Capitol, hoping to deliver to Congress 535 letters that outline his objections to the campaign finance laws.
“The guy was just going postal, literally,” Mr. McCaul told ABC’s “This Week.”
Mr. McCaul, Texas Republican, said such aircraft are hard to detect, and he is working with security officials to close the vulnerability.
He added, however, that officers at the Capitol have long guns that could have taken down the small aircraft if it had gotten any closer to the House speaker’s offices.