Buzzkill: Beer Delivery Drones Grounded by FAA
The Federal Aviation Administration has gone full buzzkill mode and stopped a small Wisconsin brewery from delivering beer by drone.
Lakemaid Beer recently thought up a truly badass way to deliver their new Frosty Winger Lager to ice fisherman – small drones. That’s right – Lakemaid started flying 12 packs to local anglers. But what seemed an efficient, worthy, and ultimately harmless endeavor was recently shut down by the FAA.
“We were a little surprised at the FAA interest in this since we thought we were operating under the 400-foot limit,” Lakemaid’s Jack Supple told NPR.
The administration apparently sent Supple 74 pages of code, stating that he’d violated a handful of them.
“I’m on the FAA blacklist for now,” he said. “They’re not too happy with me.”
We prefer our Lakemaid to be delivered in a more efficient manner than most. https://t.co/fB6P73kS2Z
— Lakemaid Beer (@lakemaidbeer) January 21, 2014
Last week, Lakemaid’s beer drone delivery video hit YouTube and quickly went viral, gaining nearly 100,000 views in just 7 days.
Through their novel drone delivery program and the subsequent governmental snafu, Lakemaid has garnered some new supporters – most notably the ones who have petitioned the White House to “issue an Airworthiness Certificate for Beer Drones.” They lovingly call them “BUAVs.”
The FAA has recently revoked authorization for a struggling small business to deliver its product via Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. This innovative product-to-market technique allowed a small business to grow its brand and take advantage of a government-supported initiative to embrace UAV technology. The FAA has no standing to restrict the delivery of products by small businesses and choke economic growth.
I won’t argue with them.
The concept of drone delivery has been in the news a lot lately – ever since Amazon unveiled a short video showing their new test product in action. Through Amazon’s drone delivery program, Amazon Prime Air, the company says they can deliver packages weighing up to 5 pounds anywhere in a 10-mile radius of fulfillment centers. Jeff Bezos says that this means 86% of Amazon’s daily deliveries are within the range of these drones.
And it’s not just Amazon that’s thinking about employing drones to do delivery work – other carriers like UPS as well as various pizza chains are also interested in the technology.
Despite the buzzkill, I’m sure that the folks at Lakemaid are thrilled about the press. Good on you, Lakemaid – we hope your magical beer copters will once again take flight. People are thirsty.
Image via YouTube