A Connecticut father and son are headed for a court showdown with the Federal Aviation Administration over whether the agency can force them to disclose information about drones shown in two YouTube videos firing a gun and deploying a flame thrower in their backyard.
Austin Haughwout, 19, of Clinton, and his father, Bret Haughwout, are refusing to comply with subpoenas issued by the U.S. attorney's office on behalf of the FAA, saying the subpoenas violate their constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures and questioning the agency's authority to regulate recreational drones.
A hearing on whether the Haughwouts have to comply with the subpoenas is set for Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Meyer in New Haven. The case potentially has national significance because it would set a precedent on how much authority the FAA has over recreational drone use, said the Haughwouts' lawyer, Mario Cerame.
Austin Haughwout uploaded the videos to his YouTube channel last year. One video, viewed more than 3.7 million times, shows a flying drone equipped with a handgun firing rounds. Another video, viewed nearly 600,000 times, shows a flying drone with a flamethrower lighting up a spit-roasting Thanksgiving turkey. Both videos were recorded in the family's yard in Clinton.