Man who built gun, flamethrower drone must comply with FAA, judge says

From ArsTechnica:

A federal judge in Connecticut has ruled against a young drone operator and his father. They will now have to turn over a slew of documents and materials as part of a Federal Aviation Administration investigation.

The two men and their legal team argued that the FAA lacks authority to regulate drones, but the FAA clearly disagrees with this assessment.

As Ars reported previously, the case dates back to July 2015. The pilot, Austin Haughwout, posted a video of his drone rigged up with a handgun. By early November 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration sent the two Haughwouts an administrative subpoena seeking a substantial amount of records, including purchase records and an accounting of what monies, if any, were gained from the “Flying Gun” YouTube video.

His father, Bret Haughwout, declined the government’s efforts. He told the FAA in an e-mail that because the agency had not alleged a particular violation he was under no obligation to comply. The FAA has not accused either man of a crime, but the organization merely seeks to acquire further information about their drone-related activities.

Within weeks, Austin Haughwout published a second video, dubbed “Roasting the Holiday Turkey.” It shows a drone with a flamethrower attached, firing at a turkey roasting on a spit. Again, the FAA asked the Haughwouts to respond, and again, they refused.

Finally on February 11, 2016, the FAA took them to court, asking a federal judge to enforce the subpoena. Within weeks, US District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer asked for …

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