View of a person shooting fireworks at a Lamborghini from a helicopter

1886forgedwheels/Instagram

A YouTuber with 1 million followers charged for shooting fireworks from a helicopter at a Lamborghini

You aren’t supposed to bring a bomb on a plane.

 

Marlon Ettinger

Tech

YouTuber Alex Choi is being charged with violating a law that prohibits placing an explosive or incendiary device on an aircraft after he filmed a video of himself and others shooting off fireworks at a Lamborghini from a helicopter last summer. 

The case was first reported today by Court Watch.

Choi, who has almost a million subscribers on his YouTube channel, titled the video “Destroying a Lamborghini with Fireworks,” though the federal complaint against him noted that as of May 28 this year he’d taken the videos off of his publicly available channels.

Unrecorded

The federal complaint goes through the contents of the since-deleted video, where Choi and other people set up a fictional scenario where police officers chase a Lamborghini down a highway before it has to veer off-road. The complaint describes how the fictional pair of police officers chase the Lamborghini until they open fire on it with a dramatic fireworks display. All the high-octane action is captured by frenetic camerawork and drone shots.

According to the complaint, an FAA investigation was quickly opened into people involved in the production of the video, including a couple of drone camera operators and a helicopter pilot. The FAA revoked the helicopter pilot’s license on July 27, 2023.

According to emails and screenshots of text messages cited in the complaint, Choi also discussed knowing that what he was doing might be legally fraught.

“I would also have to drive to Las Vegas to buy fireworks, as they are illegal in california,” he wrote in one message, followed by a crying laughing emoji.

Radar data for the helicopter obtained by the investigating agent also found that transponder information for the helicopter that he believed was used for the video was turned off in a timeframe that lined up with its filming.

Choi claimed in another text message that the FAA agent who investigated the pilot had a “personal issue with my helicopter pilot friend” and that he should be ignored.

“Some other people in the production got contacted as well,” he noted in the July 24 text message. “I advised them to just ignore the email.”


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