Roman candle drone stunt investigated by Transport Canada

Transport Canada is investigating a viral video of two shirtless men seen running on a frozen river as a drone, mounted with Roman candles, fires exploding shells at them.

'We're just having fun. We're not trying to hurt anybody,' says Ottawa man behind the drone

Transport Canada is investigating a popular online video that shows two shirtless men running on a frozen Ottawa River as a drone, mounted with Roman candles, fires exploding shells at them.

Andy Stewart, who controlled the drone in the video from the shore of a bay in west rural Ottawa, told CBC News he attached a camera to the drone so that he could record his brother and friend trying to dodge the sparks.

"We weren't doing anything to hurt anybody, just fooling around," he said. "It's hilarious how many views it's gotten."

Since it was uploaded to YouTube on March 5, it has been viewed more than one million times.

His friend, Matt Trueman, is seen lighting the Roman candles on the drone before running onto the snow-covered bay. At one point, his brother Jason Stewart is hit in the back.

"Do not try this at home," the video warns.

"We're just having fun," Stewart said. "We're not trying to hurt anybody — besides the odd, little burn. Nothing too crazy."

'Extremely dangerous' to carry fireworks on drone: Transport Canada

Transport Canada told CBC News in an email that it is "extremely dangerous" for an unmanned aerial vehicle to carry pyrotechnics or explosives.

Andy Stewart says he was 'fooling around' when he made a video of a drone, mounted with Roman candles, firing at his friends. (CBC)
"In addition, Transport Canada's safety guidelines for recreational users stipulate they should stay at least nine kilometres away from aerodrome, such as the Constance Lake water aerodrome, and from built-up areas, including homes and cottages," Transport Canada said in a statement.

Stewart said he likes making extreme videos but never imagine it would catch the attention of Transport Canada. 

"We'll see what happens (with the investigation) and take it from there," he said. "We're still going to make tons of fun videos... [we] just might not be attaching fireworks to them if it is something that you're not allowed to do."

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