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Beer-delivering drone grounded by FAA after viral YouTube video: You can help

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If you’re out on the ice, staring down at a hole and waiting for a nibble, a cold one could really hit the spot.

Knowing the marriage of fishing and beer is simply spot-on (and understanding the problem ice fishermen face of having to go on long walks for beer runs), Wisconsin-based brewer Lakemaid had the perfect solution – beer drones.

According to CNN on Friday, the company was testing a new drone delivery system on Mille Lacs Lake in Minnesota, airlifting frosty cases of beer to fishermen holed up in shacks. The delivery system was a great success, until the Federal Aviation Agency caught eye of a viral YouTube video advertising the service.

According to Lakemaid – whose motto is “Great Fishermen Need Great Beer” – the FAA contacted them after seeing the video and advised Lakemaid that it is illegal to operate a drone for commercial use, and will be until at least 2015, when the FAA is expected to roll out a set of rules governing the commercial use of drones.

Of course, we all know how slowly the wheels of any government agency turn, so a WhiteHouse.gov petition has already gone up, asking the Obama administration to issue Lakemaid an airworthiness certificate. Only 600 or so have signed the petition as of today; 100,000 signatures are needed to force the White House to respond.

Lakemaid Beer president Jack Supple admitted that he knew it was illegal to use the drones for commercial use, but thought he could get around the red tape by not charging for the beer.

Wrong, says the FAA.

“I'm on the FAA blacklist for now,” Supple joked. “They're not too happy with me.”

So while Supple can likely still fly, his beer cannot.

Come on beer drinkers and fishermen – show your support. Share this article and sign the petition. Let’s get those thirsty boys a beer!

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