Small aircraft lands on Capitol lawn; pilot held

2015-04-15 21:06
A man is being held after he landed a gyrocopter on the West Lawn of the US Capitol in Washington. (Alex Wong, AFP)

A man is being held after he landed a gyrocopter on the West Lawn of the US Capitol in Washington. (Alex Wong, AFP)

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Washington - Police arrested a man who landed his small, one-person helicopter on the West Lawn of the US Capitol on Wednesday, prompting a temporary lock down of the Capitol visitor's centre. 

The man's identity and motive were not immediately known. Capitol police identified the aircraft as a "gyro copter with a single occupant."

House Homeland Security panel chair Michael McCaul said the pilot landed on his own, but that had he made it much closer to the Capitol authorities were prepared to shoot him down.

The situation was under investigation and streets in the area were shut down. The small craft presented a strange sight sitting on the green lawn of the Capitol, its rotors slowly spinning.

Emergency vehicles were dispatched to the area and a robot bomb detector was sent over to the craft.

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