This is a still from the December 2015 flamethrower drone video.Hogwit The outcome of new drone lawsuit out of Connecticut turns on what seems to be a simple question: does the Federal Aviation Administration have the authority to regulate consumer drones? More specifically, can the FAA come after a student who rigged up a gun to a drone and fired it in his backyard, with no one else around?
The FAA clearly thinks that it does and can. But some drone enthusiasts disagree, and believe that the FAA has exceeded its regulatory power—at least for now.
On July 6, FAA lawyers will face off in a New Haven courtroom against attorneys representing a Connecticut student who produced two provocative drone-related videos, one involving a handgun mounted on a drone, and another with a flamethrower.
“At the time the FAA organic statute was created, drones were the stuff of science fiction,” Mario Cerame, of the Randazza Legal Group, wrote in his recent opening brief defending the student, Austin Haughwout, and his father, Bret Haughwout.
“The statute did not contemplate their existence. Rather, the statute was directed at airplanes, helicopters, and blimps, and the resources on the ground to support them.”