That Time A Deranged Pilot Hijacked A Helicopter And Landed At The White House
Air & Space Magazine
The Vietnam War was a very tense time for the American people. A nation divided between fighting the spread of communism and the other side wanting peace and to bring the troops back home. Tensions got pretty high at this time and they took their toll on a number of people, including a disgruntled pilot.
In 1974 as the Vietnam War was winding down, 20-year-old Robert Preston was enlisted in the US Army. Preston was a troubled young man who gained some experience as a helicopter pilot with over 150 flight hours under his belt. However, as the US Military began to withdraw from Vietnam Preston was denied an opportunity to fly due to a surplus amoung of qualified pilots already enlisted.
Frustrated with his situation and already reeling from a failed relationship, Robert Preston hit his limit. He drove up to an airfield 20 miles from Washington D.C. entered an unguarded helicopter and took flight. He flew right onto the lawn of the White House and was met with a barrage of fire from the Secret Service. He took some shots in his foot but made a recovery where he was taken to court and fined for his erratic behavior.
We are the Mighty has prepared a video of the hijacking incident in this clip.