YouTube video of gun-shooting drone prompts FAA investigation

CLINTON, Conn. (WTNH) — The FAA is investigating after a video of a drone shooting a hand gun in Connecticut, apparently created by a local teen, was posted to YouTube. You may think military officials are the only people who can legally have a machine like this but Clinton Police tell WTNH-TV what is seen in the video doesn’t appear to violate any state laws.

Bill Piedra is CEO of a Manchester based company called Flying Robots. He is also a drone enthusiast who, as part of his business, constructs drones that deliver flotation devices to people in danger of drowning, but with this video he has concerns it may have ramifications for his entire industry.

“It’s shocking,” said Piedra. “I really hope it doesn’t inhibit the continued development of drones for good purposes.”

The teen behind the video is Austin Haughwout of Clinton. You may remember him from another drone YouTube video that surfaced last year where he claimed to have been attacked by a woman who thought he was using his drone to record her at Hammonasset State Park. Saturday, WTNH-TV spoke to Haughwout’s father about this latest situation and were told it’s his belief his son did nothing wrong.

Connecticut lawyer and drone advocate Peter Sachs disagrees. He thinks Haughwout may have violated federal aviation laws.

“I think they might have something legal to worry about,” said Sachs.

“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 said in a statement. “The FAA will also work with its law enforcement partners to determine if there were any violations of criminal statutes.”

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