Home » Why You’re Not Allowed To Use A Helicopter To Shoot Fireworks At Your Lamborghini

Why You’re Not Allowed To Use A Helicopter To Shoot Fireworks At Your Lamborghini

Lamborghini Huracan Vs Helicopter Chase Alex C2hoi 0 15 Screenshot
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If you come into a lot of money, you might consider buying yourself a Lamborghini. They’re flashy, fast, and fun. Up from there, you might like to grab a helicopter. Heck, if you had both, why not take them out for a fun day with some fireworks? YouTuber Alex Choi did just that, and now he’s paying the price.

As reported by gaming site Dexerto, Choi is now facing federal charges for his vehicular escapades. A video that he posted last year featured women shooting fireworks at his Lamborghini from a helicopter as he drifted the Italian hypercar on a pad at dusk. The visuals were epic, and it appears the charges will be similarly sized.

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A criminal complaint was issued for Choi on June 4 regarding the matter that occurred “on or about June 27, 2023.” Of prime concern was the act of “causing the placement of explosive or incendiary device on an aircraft.” As you might imagine, the authorities take that one quite seriously.

This thing goes all the way to the top. Choi was targeted by a special agent of the United States Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General. You probably didn’t know they existed, but they’re out there, taking names and locking up those who commit the worst transport-themed crimes. Tire marks were apparently used as evidence by investigators to tie the video’s events to the El Mirage Dry Lakebed in California, which is Federal property.

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The Bureau of Land Management has special agents, too!

Choi’s video allegedly breaks all other kinds of laws, too. As per the criminal complaint. Choi didn’t obtain FAA, ATF, or BLM permits or waivers for the filming activity or explosives as required by law. There are strict laws around fireworks in California, as well, with Choi allegedly getting around this by sourcing them from Nevada.

Choi isn’t the only one in hot water, either. The hired helicopter pilot in the video has also had their license rescinded by the FAA for the low-altitude flying involved in the video, as well as the firing of fireworks from the aircraft. The pilot also allegedly switched off the helicopter’s transponder for several hours during the filming. The complaint alleges that the pilot gamely tried to dodge responsibility, but to no avail.

On July 23, 2023, during a phone call with FAA Inspectors, the pilot of the HELICOPTER said he did not know anything about the El Mirage video but said it was probably done in Mexico. On July 24, 2023, during a follow-up phone call with FAA Inspectors, the pilot stated, among other things, that he did not want CHOI to know he was talking to the FAA, and that CHOI was doing unsafe activities involving cars and aircraft.

In an e-mail dated July 25, 2023, the pilot wrote to the FAA Inspector that he was not the owner of the HELICOPTER and could not involve himself in any investigations concerning the pilots who use it.

@alex.choi.yt

Destroying a Lamborghini With Fireworks | Part 2 #alexchoi #car #fyp #viral #foryou #trending

♬ original sound – Alex Choi

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Looks fun, but it’s very illegal.

Choi’s channel no longer hosts the video, but remnants still exist around the Internet. Clips are on TikTok and YouTube that show some of the action. Much of it was blurry or framed poorly, with the helicopter and the Lamborghini rarely in a well-placed shot at the same time. Much of the footage was captured on 360-degree action cameras. These can be useful for capturing an event from all angles, but they don’t remove the need to plan and execute a shot carefully to get the best results.

We’d like to see the same concept redone with proper permits and proper cinematography for the best results. Ideally for the next Doja Cat film clip or something. If The Autopian can get releases and permits for shoots, certainly other folks can.

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Image credits: Alex Choi, Millionaire Motorsport via YouTube screenshot, alex.choi.yt via TikTok screenshot

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Defenestrator
Defenestrator
10 days ago

Isn’t this the same dude who’s made headlines before for seriously endangering and sometimes actually injuring people for reckless crap? This one feels pretty low on the harm and actual endangerment scale for him. Funny that it’s the one he may get in actual legal trouble for. I guess we’ll see just how much legal counsel his parents will fund.

Jb996
Jb996
14 days ago

I agree with all comments that this is consumption porn, and I look forward to hearing about the final charges/punishment.
I also tried to play devil’s advocate with myself, how does one address the “Freedoms!” crowd?
But it comes down to laws. We have a society; that society has laws. If you don’t agree with those laws, and think something should be allowed, then petition to change them. Get people onboard with you. Vote for change. Run for office.
Until then, guess what? You have to follow those laws. Even if you’re rich; even if you’re famous; whether you’re a stupid You-tube troll or a former President.

Willybear
Willybear
15 days ago

Dear Alex,

You don’t go to jail for doing illegal things. You go to jail for getting caught. This isn’t even “caught,” but more of an own-goal situation.

I bet he hangs out with SBF.

Space
Space
15 days ago

I can appreciate that nobody was hurt and no innocent bystanders were ever put at risk. On the scale of things our federal law enforcement should care about this should rank pretty low.
But then they posted it on the internet… Should have waited until after the statue of limitations.

Roofless
Roofless
16 days ago

This was stupid as hell, but at least it was an epic variety of stupid – if you’re gonna go to jail, “felonious shooting of fireworks at a lamborghini from a helicopter” is a pretty fucking rad way to do it. They’re out in the middle of nowhere with nobody around, and I get the feeling that everyone involved would be fine with having this wind up as their epitaph.

notoriousDUG
notoriousDUG
15 days ago
Reply to  Roofless

I fail to see the ‘rad’ part of tearing up BLM land to do it.

Roofless
Roofless
13 days ago
Reply to  notoriousDUG

It’s a dry lake bed.

JTilla
JTilla
13 days ago
Reply to  Roofless

It’s one thing to go for a land speed record or something but to destroy a fragile environment such as that for clicks is just criminal and should be treated as such.

Roofless
Roofless
12 days ago
Reply to  JTilla

> fragile environment

Am I missing something about the dry lake bed? The other approved uses of the El Mirage Dry Lakebed include amateur rocketry, experimental aircraft, and high-speed runs – it doesn’t exactly sound like the everglades out there.

Eric Gonzalez
Eric Gonzalez
16 days ago

Does becoming a “successful YouTuber” (whatever the hell that is) somehow starts actively killing your braincells? Look at how Linus Sebastian started, look at him now (he’s now the Mr. Beast of tech). Even Zach from JerryrigEverything just wrapped a whole Cybertruck in gold. I thought he was beyond that crap.

As a species, we are definitely getting dumber and dumber and we’ll end up like pandas: not fucking, eating bamboo and waiting for our extinction.

M K
M K
16 days ago
Reply to  Eric Gonzalez

Not to defend dumb you-tube stuff, but the JerryRigEverything gold cybertruck episode was more about the stainless steel electroplating process. It involved a cybertruck owned by RIDGE that was being gold plated as part of their gold wallet promotion. It was actually pretty informative, and less “look at me while I shoot at my 24k gold cybertruck!”

Is Travis
Is Travis
16 days ago

SparkleEagleSingleTear.gif

Cayde-6
Cayde-6
16 days ago

Mythbusters did a lot of dumbass stunts too (Adam Savage has talked publicly about how their producers gave them an explosions-per-episode quota), but at least they got permits, had experts, and took safety seriously (mostly)*

*well, except that one time they sent a cannon ball into someone’s house

Last edited 16 days ago by Cayde-6
Clear_prop
Clear_prop
16 days ago
Reply to  Cayde-6

That’s the thing. If you plan it out properly, you can get permits to do all sorts of ‘dumb’ things.

Fireworks from aircraft is a standard part of airshow acts. Firing them at close range at a car would take a bit more convincing, but probably could be worked out.

FAR 91.15 even says the FAA doesn’t care if you drop things from aircraft as long as it isn’t a danger to people on the ground.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
15 days ago
Reply to  Cayde-6

Seriously. Somehow this feels like one of Choi’s less reckless infamous moments and it might get him and/or his crew in the most trouble? LOL.

It probably would’ve been easier to defend on “hey, we’re amateurs, we didn’t go to film school, and we didn’t know about this whole process” grounds* or at least argue for a more lenient punishment if the helicopter pilot wouldn’t have tried claiming his easily identifiable, very public video was in Mexico.

Say it with me, friends: you do not! have! to! talk! to! The! Man!!!!!

(*Ignorance isn’t a defense, but it might help reinforce the “first-time shooting-fireworks-from-a-helicopter offender” aspect of the case. Disclaimer: IANAL, but I comment on Defector a lot.)

Last edited 15 days ago by Stef Schrader
Chally_Sheedy
Chally_Sheedy
15 days ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

Fucking John Landis is still working, so either these charges are easy to beat or we really are in a new age of Law and Order in CA.

Manuel Verissimo
Manuel Verissimo
13 days ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

Guys, you’ve got to ease up on the acronyms. That last one looked like TMI and made me LOL until I got it. SMH.

(Seriously though, as a foreigner I sometimes struggle with the new stuff)

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
13 days ago

hahahahahaha, yeaaaaaah

Dest
Dest
13 days ago

I’m not a foreigner and I still had to read it in my mind to get it.

05LGT
05LGT
16 days ago

Now that we’ve demonstrated that the collapse is imminent, the next steps are to determine the likely forms of collapse, narrow in on the timing, and formulate a strategy to control the resultant society and economy regardless of the precise cause, timing, and interim power structures.

Oh wait, that’s for the other group!

Kenneth S Goss
Kenneth S Goss
16 days ago

Let’s all repeat the basic life lesson here: “Do not film yourself doing illegal things, and then post it on the web.”

Dest
Dest
13 days ago
Reply to  Kenneth S Goss

But… How do I get likes from that?

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
16 days ago

“Why You’re Not Allowed To Use A Helicopter To Shoot Fireworks At Your Lamborghini”

But I should be okay with aiming this flame thrower at a Ferrari from my helicopter, right? RIGHT???

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
15 days ago

No need for a helicopter and fireworks, Ferraris sometimes self-immolate for the fun of it.

Chally_Sheedy
Chally_Sheedy
15 days ago

There’s nothing in the rulebooks that says a golden retriever can’t shoot a flamethrower at a Ferrari.

Hotdoughnutsnow
Hotdoughnutsnow
16 days ago

… but on the other hand, 14 year-old me probably dreamed about doing stuff like this if I ever won the lottery. Pew Pew! (too bad my mom wouldn’t let me have fireworks)

MY LEG!
MY LEG!
16 days ago

I’m not saying every media ever to be uploaded needs to be an epic on the level of Citizen Kane with ‘artisanal’ homemade props and costumes, but, what’s the point of shit like this?

Consumption porn? Even the tactical helmets Becky and Karen Junior have on while shooting bottle rockets at him are wearing to be “like, sexay neighveigh sealghs” cost more than most people in this country make in a month.

I guess I’m old and I’m not even 30.

Last edited 16 days ago by MY LEG!
Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
16 days ago
Reply to  MY LEG!

It, like almost all of social media, is entirely consumption porn…and the biggest issue is that consumption porn breeds more consumption porn. These brats incinerating tens of thousands of dollars to get noticed make all of the money they spend back and usually much more…because stupid people log onto their devices, see what are usually conventionally attractive, young folks lighting money on fire in the biggest attention seeking spectacles money can buy, and go WOW THAT’S SO COOL I WISH I HAD MILLIONS OF DOLLARS I COULD USE TO SAY FUCK YOU IN THE MOST OSTENTATIOUS WAY POSSIBLE!

The problem is that these platforms incentivize this shit and breed more antisocial clout goblins. The more dangerous and stupid the stunt, the more views, and the more money. No attention is bad attention because all attention is money. It’s a never ending cycle of late capitalist black holes of consumption.

Cayde-6
Cayde-6
16 days ago
Reply to  MY LEG!

The sort of person who calls their YT channel “millionaire motorsports” is automatically a massive douchecanoe

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
16 days ago

Play stupid games win stupid prizes. I hope they throw the book at this overgrown child.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
16 days ago

Pretty sure we can file this under examples of disobeying The Hardigree Principle. Maybe the federal government will use that in their case against him.

JCat
JCat
16 days ago

We used to be a proper country.

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
16 days ago
Reply to  JCat

I thought this was AMERICA!

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
15 days ago
Reply to  JCat

Were we? When was that?

Phuzz
Phuzz
13 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Pre-Columbus?

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
13 days ago
Reply to  Phuzz

Pre people.

Dest
Dest
13 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

I think the native American were alright?

Davedave
Davedave
16 days ago

*why you aren’t allowed, etc.

Turbeaux
Turbeaux
16 days ago
Reply to  Davedave

*You’ren’t

Last edited 16 days ago by Turbeaux
Davedave
Davedave
16 days ago
Reply to  Turbeaux
Phuzz
Phuzz
13 days ago
Reply to  Turbeaux

You’nt

Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
16 days ago

Good. Something with unauthorized use of a helicopter and inflicting damage on expensive cars sounds like Whistling Diesel level of stupidity 🙁

Alexk98
Alexk98
16 days ago

The difference there being that Whistling Diesel’s on screen persona is mostly just a character, these guys seem to be full time stupid

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
16 days ago

Autopian version: a drone with a paintball gun mounted on it chases Torch in his Changli while firing wildly.

Fordlover1983
Fordlover1983
16 days ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

Make it happen, Autopian!

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
16 days ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

Remote-controlled Changli with a chainsaw attachment chases Torch in his Beetle around a race track. Revenge is a dish best served cold.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
16 days ago
Reply to  Lewin Day

Gotta say that just piloting the Changli prompted almost disabling levels of laughter when I did a simple circle at the meetup. I can’t imagine trying to focus much beyond basic ‘don’t hit anything’

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
16 days ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

Haha yes same. It helps/doesn’t help that it has the turning radius of an F-350.

Collegiate Autodidact
Collegiate Autodidact
16 days ago
Reply to  Lewin Day

Shades of Mr Bean trying to steal a VéloSolex 3800 moped in the film Mr Bean’s Holiday
gifs.com/gif/mr-bean-motorcycle-KeX4q8
ETA: that link doesn’t seem to be playing nice on my phone so in case others have that problem here’s an alternative which has the entire scene:
https://youtu.be/t5eRT32QWdg?si=ZwDYqG_2ObsUue_a

Last edited 16 days ago by Collegiate Autodidact
Outofstep
Outofstep
16 days ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

As a paying member I demand this! Also the Autopian test vehicle makes a cameo at the beginning of the video with the drone taking off from the roof

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
15 days ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

To be honest, that’s likely totally fine legally if the right steps are taken. FPV drone (giant RC planes count as drones) with a paintball dropper, drone pilot with their Part 107 license for commercial use, RID on the drone because it’s obviously over 250 grams and do it on private property.

Screw it, call up Cleetus McFarland and do this at the Freedom Factory. That guy is into RC stuff and appreciates totally ridiculous activities with vehicles.

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