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T. GAMBLE: FAA has no compassion for the thirsty

OPINION: Drones could be the answer to safely quenching your thirst

T. Gamble

T. Gamble

Over the last year or so, you may have seen — as have I — reports about the rise in use of drones to deliver items of commerce. Amazon first revealed such plans and was quickly followed by FedEx. Amazon’s CEO showcased his fleet of drones on a TV show where one day he envisions all package deliveries coming to your door by personal drone delivery.

Yes, one day the sky may be abuzz with tiny planes flying from one locale after another. But one day, apparently, is not quite here yet.

The New York Daily News reports that recently a small beer company used a six-propeller drone to deliver a 12 pack of beer to a group of their employees ice fishing in Wisconsin. The company then posted a video of this miracle delivery on its website as a sort of free advertising.

So far, so good. But leave it up to the United States government to screw up a good time.

The company, appropriately named Lakemaid Beer, received notice from the FAA that this effort violated federal law and it was not legal to deliver beer by drone. In typical government fashion, the notice was 74 pages long, which, I suppose, is intended to punish you by boring you to death.

My first thought in reading this article was, how many employees constitute “a group” in Wisconsin? I think of a group as at least four, maybe even five or six. If so, I don’t know about Wisconsin folks, but here in the deep south Georgia domain, bringing only a 12 pack of beer would have riled up the entire group. They probably would have destroyed the drone.

Never underserve a group of ice fishermen, especially if you plan on filming it and putting it on your website.

But, ignoring the underserved for the moment, what in the name of Matt Dillion is the FAA thinking about with this rule?

Let’s see, we have a “group” of ice fishermen who need beer. Should we (a) let them pick the most sober one to drive to town and pick up the beer, (B) call drunk buddy Johnny who missed the fishing trip because he overslept from being too drunk to bring them beer, or (C) have the beer delivered by a drone?

Yep, I agree. Let’s ban the drone. The same folks who wrote this rule also voted to allow drive-in liquor stores in Georgia, ‘cause when you need a shot of liquor, there is no time to waste by getting out of the car and going in to buy it.

As I see it, drones could greatly reduce many problems associated with alcohol consumption. The obvious erased problem is one would not have to drive to get the alcohol. Now in fairness, many people buy their alcohol completely sober and later consume it without getting behind the wheel of a car.

But a bottle of tequila is very crafty and once it is consumed it begins to call to its imbiber, “Bring me another bottle of tequila.” Then, proving the point that alcohol impairs one’s judgment, the formerly sober driver hops in his car and off he goes.

Drones would erase this problem. It has other advantages as well.

Image a Georgia football game in late September. In the old days folks are stuffing pints in their sock, zip-lock baggies in their pants and everywhere in between. With drone delivery, there is no need to sneak in the refreshment. Just call the local drone delivery and, before you know it, aisle 20, seat 5 has a fresh pint delivered right there.

Well regardless, the company president reports Lakemaid is now on the FAA’s blacklist. I don’t know what that encompasses, but I assume it means no more drone delivery. So, I guess it is back to packing ice chests and stuffing socks.

Email columnist T. Gamble at