We have already seen a lot of news coverage on drones this week, including one flying over the White House and the horrible story about drones preventing helicopters from putting out wildfires in California. A new video recently went viral on Youtube showing a drone flying and firing a handgun. The video and contraption were created by 18-year-old Austin Haughwout, who has come under immense scrutiny.
First of all, let's just appreciate this young man's ingenuity. No matter how clever Austin's flying killing machine looks in video, this is sure to cause problems for the drone community as a whole. We all know the Federal Aviation Administration is trying to create new regulations for personal and commercial drone usage, and surely this new drone video will negatively affect the proposed laws for aspiring aerial photographers and videographers. The FAA is investigating the young engineering student, who will most likely be charged with violating two bans: releasing anything from an aircraft and arming a civilian aircraft. This makes me wonder if the FAA is investigating the two guys who attached Roman Candles to a drone as well? Are water balloons considered a weapon if they are "released from an aircraft"? Would the FAA have cared if it was a Red Ryder BB gun?
In light of recent events, I would not be surprised in the least if the government started regulating drone usage. We all know these regulations are coming but the question becomes where will we draw the line? If an 18 year-old rigged a gun to the front of his car, do you think driving a car would be questioned simply because one incident made the news? Boys will be boys. While we wait to hear the results of the investigation, we want to remind our Connecticut readers, if you see a drone flying, duck. It must just be equipped with an AR-15.
Where do you think this investigation will go? Is the FAA justified in their investigation?