A viral video of a semi-automatic handgun mounted to a small drone has prompted an investigation by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The short video, titled “Flying Gun”, shows four rounds fired in succession from the gun, which is perched atop the low-flying aircraft. It was filmed by Austin Haughwout, an 18-year-old engineering student from Connecticut.
The video shows the remote-controlled drone with four spinning blades rising to discharge a round, flying several feet backward due to the force from the shot, and rising to fire once again. It appears to have been taken in a wooded area.
The FAA released a statement saying they would investigate whether “any violations of criminal statutes” or aviation regulations had taken place. The statement notes that the weaponised aircraft had been operating in a Connecticut park.
Grab from the video “Flying Gun”
Mr Haughwout’s father said the family had not heard from the FAA, and that the whole situation had been blown out of proportion.
“People have been playing with RC (remote-controlled) toys for many decades,” he told AFP.
“I don’t understand why people are making such a big deal of it. It’s not like it’s anything new,” he said.
“He’s a mechanical engineering student. He builds all different kind of things,” he added.
The US government has had a difficult time regulating the increasingly widespread use of drones.
In at least one incident a plane approaching a runway had to swerve to avoid colliding with a drone, and the White House was placed under lockdown earlier this year when a remote controlled aircraft was flown onto the property.
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