FAA threatens $25,000 fine for weaponizing drones
It’s perfectly natural for a red-blooded American to, once they have procured their first real drone, experiment with attaching a flame thrower to it. But it turns out that this harmless hobby is frowned upon by the biggest buzzkills in the world… the feds.
Yes, the FAA has gone and published a notice that drones and weapons are “A Dangerous Mix.” Well, that’s arguable. But they’re the authority here so we have to hear them out.
“Perhaps you’ve seen online photos and videos of drones with attached guns, bombs, fireworks, flamethrowers, and other dangerous items. Do not consider attaching any items such as these to a drone because operating a drone with such an item may result in significant harm to a person and to your bank account.”
They’re not joking around with the fines, either. You could be hit with one as big as $25,000 for violating the FAA rules. Especially if you put your attack drone on YouTube.
That’s the ThrowFlame TF-19, by the way. TechCrunch in no way recommends or endorses this extremely awesome device.
Of course you may consider yourself an exception — perhaps you are a defense contractor working on hunter-killers, or a filmmaker who has to simulate a nightmare drone-dominated future. Or maybe you just promise to be extra careful.
If so, you can apply to the FAA through the proper channels to receive authorization for your drone-weaponizing operation. Of course, as with all other victimless crimes, if no one sees it, did a crime really occur? The FAA would no doubt say yes, absolutely, no question. So yeah, probably you shouldn’t do that.