Home-made handgun drone attracts FAA investigation
If you've ever fumbled at the controls of a drone, then the following might make you a little uneasy. An 18-year-old mechanical engineering student has affixed a semi-automatic handgun to a custom-built drone and demonstrated its firepower in a video that has quickly attracted the attention of the authorities.
The video simply titled "Flying Gun" appeared on YouTube on July 10 and has since attracted more than two million views. It shows the home made multi-rotor floating at about chest height amongst the trees and firing off four shots, recoiling and repositioning itself after each discharge.
According to NBC, the flying weapon was created by Austin Haughwout, a student at Central Connecticut State University, and the video was shot on his family's property in Clinton, Connecticut. Haughwout and his father Brett are adamant that they haven't broken any laws, a position that has been backed up by local police. But that doesn't mean authorities are entirely happy with their little experiment, either.
"Our number one job in law enforcement is public safety, first and foremost, the protection of the citizens of the community we serve," Sgt. Jeremiah Dunn, of the Clinton Police Department is quoted as saying. "That’s alarming."
The flying gun has also drawn the attention of the FAA, which has announced it will launch an investigation into the event to ascertain whether or not any rules around air safety were broken.
"The FAA will investigate the operation of an unmanned aircraft system in a Connecticut park to determine if any Federal Aviation Regulations were violated. The FAA will also work with its law enforcement partners to determine if there were any violations of criminal statutes," said Jim Peters, a spokesperson for the FAA.