FAA: Beer delivery by drone is illegal

Most tall tales told by fishermen don't include flying beer. (Image from YouTube)

Most tall tales told by fishermen don't include flying beer. (Image from YouTube)

The federal government, which owns and operates a swarm of drones that kill, says it is illegal for private companies to use unmanned craft for humanitarian missions such as delivering beer to thirsty fishermen.

The New York Daily News has the scoop: A small beer company used a six-propeller drone to ferry a 12-pack of beer to a group of employees who were ice fishing in Wisconsin. The company then put a video of the aerial awesomeness on YouTube to stir up some viral advertising.

It worked. I, like probably most of the video’s 333,000 viewers, had never heard of Minnesota-based Lakemaid Beer until they violated federal law.

I’m sure if Budweiser or a company that can afford a Super Bowl ad or a U.S. Senator had done such a thing, there would have been an exemption or merely a warning, but Lakemaid President Jack Supple said he is now on the “FAA blacklist,” whatever that means.

Supple, who said he knew the drone delivery was illegal, is hopefully a better brewer than lawyer.

The FAA “said I would be in violation of some code, I can’t remember what the number was,” Supple told The Daily News. “They sent me 74 pages all about the code.”

They probably used a fax machine.

As most of you know, drones and robot spouses are the future. Amazon and FedEx have plans to use drones for delivery, and in other countries with fewer capitalism-killing laws it’s already happening. In China and Germany, drones are used to deliver packages. But here in the U.S., we have to wait on the federal government to decide something is safe.

Thousands of drones flying around Atlanta delivering beer and potentially legalized weed seems as safe to me as continuing to let GEMA prepare for snowstorms.

If the FAA decides to legalize drone deliveries, we can all eat warm pizza the next time we sleep in our cars on Atlanta’s frozen interstates.

News to amuse:

24 comments Add your comment

Mayor Kasim Reed

February 3rd, 2014
9:45 am

eyes cant waits till these drone deliverys stawts sose eyes can shoot dem down withs my shotgun.

Hidden agenda

February 3rd, 2014
9:58 am

No shock that the same government that delivers Hellfire missiles to slaughter wedding party attendees feels that is should hold all authority over the safety of drones used to please consumers. Seriously, isn’t it far past time to withdraw our support?


February 3rd, 2014
10:01 am

There. Is. No. God.

The Geezer

February 3rd, 2014
11:07 am

Want to prevent companies from delivering their products to you by drone?

When the drone lands, retrieve your package and then attach a sack full of your kids’ poopy baby diapers before it flies back off.


February 3rd, 2014
11:32 am

Emergency situations for stranded or hurt people in hard to reach places is one thing, but having fleets of drones delivering mail and milk just seems like a poor use of technology. I just don’t see how having your towels and video games delivered via drone makes any sense. Do we really need our crap that fast?

And imagine the lawsuits when one drops from the sky and hits someone.

Don't Tread

February 3rd, 2014
11:36 am

Next thing you know is that they’ll be “grounding” the RC pilots and putting them on the terrorism watch list.

Tom B

February 3rd, 2014
11:48 am

The federal government knows it’s safe. They are just trying to figure out how to tax it.

Mick Dee

February 3rd, 2014
1:24 pm

Whoa. This commercial has the actor putting the beer bottle to her lips. They can’t do that on TV!


February 3rd, 2014
1:30 pm

I would be interested in drone delivery of my daily AJC but it would probably still be deposited in my next door neighbor’s driveway.


February 3rd, 2014
1:37 pm

Actually drones are not used to deliver packages in Germany. Deutsche Post is only testing the possibilities. Law in Germany demands the controller to be in sight of the UAV at all time. So currently it is impossible to use drones as a delivery business.

Hidden agenda

February 3rd, 2014
2:03 pm

Its not about safety, its about control.

Counterfeiting is illegal – unless you are the Federal Reserve and you or your friends in the banking cartel are to be the beneficiaries.

Stealing is illegal – unless that is basically the way you fund the entire government (ie taxation).

Murder is illegal – unless you are wearing a government-approved uniform and acting on THEIR behalf.

Flying a drone to do anything more than entertain yourself is illegal – unless you are using it to carry out a brutal foreign policy of violence and fear in foreign countries. Or unless you feel the desperate need to control the skies and prevent any competition that might be used someday to protect US citizens from the murderous US government drones.

Its NEVER about OUR safety.


February 3rd, 2014
2:39 pm

Boo where is the fun in that?

Hidden agenda

February 3rd, 2014
2:58 pm

Have you noticed that nobody ever uses the phrase “go ahead, its a free country” anymore?

[...] finally today, the Federal Aviation Administration has ruled that beer delivery by drone is illegal, thereby crushing the hopes and dreams of folks in Washington and Colorado of a future where booze [...]


February 3rd, 2014
4:56 pm

Why must everyone be so short-sighted? Do we trust Lakemaid beer to engineer an autonomous aircraft that could safely avoid private and commercial air traffic? What if the algorithm that the brewmaster devised takes that drone into the flight path of a fully loaded 747?

I feel safe in the air knowing that commercial unmanned aircraft operators will require the same or similar regulation as any other pilot.


February 3rd, 2014
6:57 pm

“The federal government knows it’s safe. They are just trying to figure out how to tax it.”

Spoken like a true teabagger… To most people it’s pretty obvious that there would be some expenditure requried for building and maintaining a safe infrastructure for drone use within the same airspace as commercial planes, jets, and helicopters.

Jack ®

February 3rd, 2014
7:18 pm

We have a couple of drones in the White House. The boss drone will likely use the new delivery vehicles to deliver more welfare.

Jack ®

February 3rd, 2014
7:34 pm

Up until a few years ago, all operators of powered-model aircraft had to licensed by the FCC. That requirement was dropped because it was deemed unfair to those not able to pass the amateur radio technician exam.


February 3rd, 2014
7:38 pm

Oh give me a drone, so that I can phone home, tell the wife that I’m stuck here all day. Keep my Visa on file, I’ll need more in a while, for I have no respect for the “F–Ay”! (hic!) Drone! Drone on, I say, For they don’t know which shanty to raid. In my shanty alone, I’ll be warm and get stoned, and the hole makes the evidence go WAY!


February 3rd, 2014
8:02 pm

Hey LAKEMAID! Put the GPS on a snowmobile, and see if the commies find a law for THAT! No huh? OK, then run a string in a loop between your shanty and the store with a sled attached. You can even have paper cups for voice/data transfer. Since they HATE technology so much, the only way you’ll satisfy them, is if the beer bottles freeze, break and end up at the wrong shanty! (snail-mail!)

Mick Dee

February 4th, 2014
4:20 am

Awesome. All that publicity and the charges will be dismissed.

It was an advertisement, people. Not a documentary. You think that toy drone can lift a full case of beer?

I dropped my fried twinkie

February 4th, 2014
8:01 am

All I know is that there will be a lot of drone shot down or packages delivered with a load of buckshot in them.


February 4th, 2014
12:50 pm

It will be interesting to see the comment section after an airliner crashes with a 12 pack of beer in its engine. The FAA is required by law to insure the safety of the flying public using air traffic controllers. The idea of robots using controlled airspace that couldn’t respond to ATC is chilling. It will only happen after robots on the highway are proved safe.

RC aircraft flown into controlled airspace subject the operator to arrest and fines. Causing an aircraft to crash can result in imprisonment.

war eagle

February 5th, 2014
1:54 pm

BEER Airlines- when you absolutely, positively need a beer now!