NOOOO!! WHY? Beer-delivering drone grounded by FAA

A Wisconsin brewery gets slapped by the Federal Aviation Administration after delivering beer to ice fishermen via a method that's currently illegal.

An illegal mercy flight. Video screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET

The Federal Aviation Administration dealt a painful blow to ice fishermen, beer and drone enthusiasts in a single swoop this week.

After Minnesota Wisconsin-based Lakemaid Beer posted a YouTube promotional video of a drone ferrying a case of brew to far-flung winter anglers on a frozen lake, the FAA called Lakemaid president Jack Supple and told him to knock it off.

"I'm on the FAA blacklist for now," Supple told the New York Daily News. "They're not too happy with me."

Thing is, using drones for commercial purposes isn't legal just yet, although the FAA is currently reviewing the rules and could approve drone-based delivery as soon as next year.

Supple thought he could get around that little detail because the delivery wasn't made in an area with any real structures, save for ice fishing shacks and trailers, and because he didn't actually charge for the beer seen in the video.

Yeah, um...no. That was the long and short of the response from the FAA, which quoted Supple the federal code he was violating.

"They sent me 74 pages all about the code," he said.

That's too bad, as it would be nice to see some of the little guys out there able to compete with the big drone plans from the likes of Amazon.

"We'd be happy to share our research with Amazon," the company later posted to its Facebook page.

Here's the original video that caught the FAA's attention:

 

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