A college student's $350k drone that was mistakenly delivered by UPS, has been returned. Initially, it was unclear as to who was responsible for the massive error. UPS spokeswoman Susan admitted to NBC News yesterday that the mistake was their fault. Regarding the issue, National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) spokesman David Miller, also confirmed to Motherboard that UPS accidentally sent parts of an unmanned aircraft valued at $350k to a student at the University of Massachusetts.
The incident gained national attention after the college student, a Reddit user, posted about it on the social news site. He posted the line, "I think I just got a drone in the mail," accompanied by images of the drone which quickly attracted the attention of thousands of internet surfers. The user did not reveal his name, but said he called UPS to notify them that they had sent him the costly government drone.
He wrote: "Just called UPS. They told me that it was one of the undelivered packages in their office, and asked if I've ever had an undelivered package. I said no, but he insisted that it was mine, and said that it was up to me if I want to keep it or not.
I don't think that's the right way to go about this, so I'm going to call the number on the card, and get this sorted out.
For all of those saying things along the lines of "It's a federal offense to open someone else's mail," I should mention that the label on the exterior was addressed to me. Nothing on the outside of the crate said it was government property. I had ordered a weightlifting bench (which I received) and this came with it. Both boxes had UPS labels with my name and address. Though an odd box, I genuinely thought it was parts for the bench I ordered, since I wasn't expecting a freaking drone.
I have to go back to college in a bit, so I wont be calling that NOAA hotline number right away, as I don't think I have the time to go through all the procedures to come. I plan on calling as soon as I can though."
The college student, who goes by the name Seventy_Seven, explained that he did receive the weightlifting bench he ordered, but the second box that contained the drone's wings and control panel, along with a card marking the contents as "USA FEDERAL PROPERTY" that should be returned to NOAA, was definitely not his.
The drone was identified as being a Puma AE (All Environment), which is a small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) designed for land based and maritime operations. According to Aerovironment, it is capable of landing in the water or on land.
NOAA spokesperson David Miller stated that drone was supposed to arrive in Massachusetts along with seven other boxes. The college student has returned the package containing the drone parts to UPS and the courier company stated that it plans on shipping it to the intended recipient right away.