The FAA Shuts Down Beer-Delivery Drone


Ice fishermen on Lake Waconia in Minnesota were pleasantly surprised when a Wisconsin brewery, Lakemaid, flew a twelve-pack of their frothy suds over the icy wastes to their warm fishing cabins using a hefty, remote-controlled quadcopter. It was a match made in zero-degree weather: the brewery took orders and flew their drones out to the fishermen who, in turn, didn’t have to trudge to the shore for liquid refreshment. The FAA, however, didn’t find the arrangement so appealing.

According to FAA rules, you cannot fly a drone for commercial purposes or above 400 feet in the United States. Therefore a robot flying a sixer over to some thirsty pescatarians is right out. One phone call from the FAA shut down the entire operation and, in turn, set off an Internet firestorm. But the company, whose logo is a fulsome lake maiden with a slippery tail, will not be grounded for long.

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