June 17, 2020

Duckworth Pushes FAA Administrator about the Dangers of Low-Flying Military Helicopters over Peaceful Civilian Protestors, Demands Answers


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – During a U.S. Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee hearing this morning, combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) pushed Stephen Dickson, Administrator at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), about the dangers of low-flying military aircrafts over large gatherings of peaceful protesters in Washington, D.C., following Donald Trump’s threats of military action against those protesting the killing of George Floyd. Senator Duckworth is a former Army Black Hawk pilot who served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years.

“I flew Blackhawks in a war zone and I was never trained or allowed to fly at such low altitudes over civilians,” said Duckworth. “I am outraged that this administration would try to intimidate peaceful protesters exercising their First Amendment rights by battering them with rotor wash and flying debris from military helicopters hovering at dangerously low altitudes.”

Following reports about these low-flying military helicopters over large gatherings of civilians, Duckworth sent letters demanding investigations by and information from both the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and FAA. This week, she spoke with Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy to reiterate her demand for answers into this incident.