The Tampa Bay Times was made aware of a Florida man's intent to land a gyrocopter on the lawn of the United States Capitol Building last summer, according to a statement from Tampa Bay Times managing editor Jennifer Orsi released this evening:

Last summer, postal worker Doug Hughes contacted Times reporter Ben Montgomery, who was not previously acquainted with him. He told Montgomery that he was planning an act of civil disobedience to bring attention to campaign finance reform and wanted someone to know his plans and motivations for flying letters to the U.S. Capitol in case something happened during his attempt. By this time, Hughes told us, he had already been interviewed twice by a Secret Service agent.

The statement comes hours after the Poynter-owned Tampa Bay Times reported that Doug Hughes, a postal worker, was flying through the air on his way to a dramatic landing on the lawn of the United States Capitol Building.

Since his flight into Washington, D.C. Wednesday, Hughes' journey has become a national story covered by the likes of The Washington Post, The New York Times and others. After Hughes landed, he was promptly arrested for penetrating the protected airspace of the capital.

According to the statement, Hughes notified the Tampa Bay Times last week that he intended to travel to Washington to attempt the flight. The paper sent two journalists, Ben Montgomery and photographer James Borchuck, to observe the flight. A reporter from the paper called Capitol Police at about 1 p.m. to ask them if they knew "a man was flying toward the Capitol in a gyrocopter," and the paper posted their response on the website.

Here's the statement:

Last summer, postal worker Doug Hughes contacted Times reporter Ben Montgomery, who was not previously acquainted with him. He told Montgomery that he was planning an act of civil disobedience to bring attention to campaign finance reform and wanted someone to know his plans and motivations for flying letters to the U.S. Capitol in case something happened during his attempt. By this time, Hughes told us, he had already been interviewed twice by a Secret Service agent.

Earlier this year, as Hughes continued to work toward his flight, we conducted interviews with him and took photographs and video of his gyrocopter. He told us that part of his plan was to be transparent about his intent – he intended to livestream the flight, intended to go live with a website when he took off explaining who he was and what his intentions were, and that he had an email blast set to go out to lots of media outlets and the authorities alerting them to his plans. In reporting on the story, we saw the business card of the Secret Service agent who Hughes said spoke to him, and confirmed with a co-worker of Hughes that both men were interviewed by the Secret Service at their place of work.

Hughes told us last week that he planned to go to Washington this week and attempt his flight. We sent Montgomery and photographer James Borchuck to Washington to see if the flight would occur. This morning, they went to the Capitol to see whether Hughes would make his attempt. Shortly after noon today, when we saw Hughes take off via his livestream feed, we posted a story on tampabay.com that Montgomery had written about Hughes and his plan. We also saw Hughes’ website go live identifying himself and giving details of his plan. We reported extensively and publicly about our story and the flight on social media including Twitter and Facebook. At about 1 p.m. we called the Capitol Police and Secret Service to ask whether they were aware that a man was flying toward the Capitol in a gyrocopter and ask for comment. We posted their response on our website. At approximately 1:30, Hughes landed.

Correction: A previous version of this story said that Doug Hughes intended to land his gyrocopter on the national mall. In fact, he planned to land it on the lawn of the United States Capital Building.