Final stop of craft that flew to Capitol? The garbage heap

WASHINGTON (AP) — Officials plan to destroy a helicopter-like aircraft that made headlines when its owner flew it onto the lawn of the U.S. Capitol in 2015 as a political protest.

A U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman says the craft’s destruction likely will occur within weeks.

The craft’s former owner, Florida resident Douglas Hughes, pleaded guilty to operating a gyrocopter without a license for his April 15, 2015, flight in the bare-bones aircraft to the Capitol’s West Lawn.

Hughes agreed to forfeit the aircraft as part of a plea deal and was sentenced to four months in prison. He finished his sentence earlier this month according to the Bureau of Prisons’ website.

Cars, boats, planes and other property like jewelry and artwork that are forfeited to the government as part of a court case can be sold. But Capitol Police spokeswoman Eva Malecki said in an email Monday that the gyrocopter’s “sale would not be appropriate considering its role in his irresponsible and unlawful act last year.”

A mailman at the time of his flight, he was carrying a letter for each member of Congress.

He had a Postal Service logo on the tail of his aircraft.

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