WASHINGTON – A small gyrocopter manned by one pilot landed on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, resulting in a lockdown of the nearby streets.
Capitol Police spokeswoman confirmed that the pilot has been detained and a robotic bomb squad asset was used to determine the threat. The pilot’s identity and motive were not immediately clear.
A gyrocopter resembles a small helicopter. However, unlike a helicopter, a gyrocopter’s blades are not powered, with the aircraft relying instead on an engine-powered propeller to provide the necessary thrust to help create lift. Often used as recreational aircraft, gyrocopters have also been deployed in law enforcement.