The Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday it was investigating an online video that shows an alleged home-made “drone” firing a handgun in the Connecticut countryside.
The 14-second video called “Flying Gun” shows a homemade multi-rotor hovering off the ground, buzzing furiously and firing a semiautomatic handgun four times at an unseen target.
It was posted on YouTube on July 10 and has been watched nearly two million times. It was filmed by 18-year-old Austin Haughwout from Clinton, Connecticut.
Haughwout is studying for a degree in mechanical engineering. Neither he nor police could be reached for immediate comment.
“The FAA will investigate the operation of an unmanned aircraft system in a Connecticut park to determine if any Federal Aviation Regulations were violated,” it said in a statement.
“The FAA will also work with its law enforcement partners to determine if there were any violations of criminal statutes.”
But Haughwout’s father denied his son had built a drone, which he said are pre-programmed, and said this device was manually controlled.
“People have been playing with RC (remote-controlled) toys for many decades,” he told AFP by telephone.
“The proper name for this is an RC quadcopter. The media keeps using the inappropriate word because it helps you to generate fear,” he added.
Haughwout said the FAA had made no contact with his family.
“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.”