Please don't put weapons or fireworks on your drones, FAA warns

DJI Mavic Air
(Image credit: Future)

When you invest in a drone to take some stunning video footage from the skies, you agree to abide by certain rules – and that includes not adding weapons or fireworks to your autonomous flying machine, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has warned.

The US agency has issued an update on the matter, seemingly prompted by the sharing of videos by people who've had their drones tricked out with all manner of dangerous equipment. A maximum fine of $25,000 is possible for those who break the rules.

"Perhaps you’ve seen online photos and videos of drones with attached guns, bombs, fireworks, flamethrowers, and other dangerous items," explains the FAA.

"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."

Keep on droning

The term "dangerous weapon" covers a lot of ground and extends to the use of fireworks as well as firearms, and more elaborate weapons like flamethrowers. Don't do it – it's not worth the YouTube hits.

Of course there's also the high chance of actually injuring someone with a weaponized drone, which then means you're in all sorts of other trouble with the law.

You can see the FAA's full list of drone-related rules and regulations here (the UK rules are here and the Australian rules are here). You need to keep your drone under 400 feet (about 122 meters) when flying it, keep your drone in your sight, and of course keep it away from airports.

You also need to abide by the rules of wherever you're flying your drone too – the small aircraft are banned in a lot of parks and public spaces, for example.

Via SlashGear

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.