BY DEBORAH HASTINGS / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Lakemaid Beer president Jack Supple knew it was illegal to use drones for commercial sales. But he thought he could get around the FAA law, and get some free publicity, if his company just airlifted beer and didn’t charge for it.
Representatives of the federal agency called him twice this week, Supple told the Daily News. “I’m on the FAA blacklist for now,” he said. “They’re not too happy with me.”
The Minnesota-based business got a lot of attention when it posted a YouTube video commercial showing a six-propeller unmanned aircraft taking off from a Wisconsin bait shop and delivering a 12-pack of Lakemaid beer to thirsty, and appreciative ice fishers (who were Lakemaid employees).
The video got more than 25,000 clicks and grabbed the attention of local journalists and tech reporters who did several stories about the planned drone services.
That’s why the FAA called on Wednesday.
Supple said he’d hope to get a leg up on consumer giants such as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, who stirred a media frenzy when he said in December his home-delivery company may use drones to drop shipments to people’s homes.
FedEx said it wants to do the same. The pilotless machines are already used in Germany to deliver medicine and in China to ferry cakes.
(sUAS News readers will of course know that this was not the first beer delivery service, that honour belongs to South African music festival OppiKoppi ed)
The FAA slapdown will work perfectly for this chaps brand!