In brief: If you’re bored with merely flying your drone and are tempted to strap a weapon onto it, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has some advice: don’t, or else you could get into a lot of trouble.
The FAA sent out a notice last week warning people “that it is illegal to operate a drone with a dangerous weapon attached.”
“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,” the agency states.
If you do operate a drone with an attached dangerous weapon, which is defined as any item that is used for, or is readily capable of, causing death or serious bodily injury, you could be violating Section 363 of the 2018 FAA Reauthorization Act. Offenders may be fined up to $25,000 for each violation.
Exceptions will be made if the operator receives “specific authorization from the Administrator of the FAA to conduct the operation,” so you should be able to get permission to use the ThrowFlame TF-19 Wasp, a flamethrower attachment designed for agricultural applications. It can also be used at pyrotechnic events, in movies, and for training firefighters.