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FAA Grounds Valentine’s Flower Delivery Drone
CBS Detroit ^ | 2/13/14 | Matt Roush

Posted on 02/14/2014 2:45:46 PM PST by Jean S

COMMERCE TWP. (WWJ) – A Commerce Township floral delivery company says the Federal Aviation Administration has grounded its experiment in delivering flowers by unmanned mini-helicopter. said the FAA has informed them that commercial drone use is only allowed on a pre-authorized, case-by-case basis — and told the company to knock it off.

“Cupid’s wings have been clipped,” said the company’s CEO, Wesley Berry.

But at least the FAA was nice about it, Berry said. “The FAA was extremely professional and polite,” he said. “I couldn’t have been chastised in a nicer way.”

Berry said he agreed with the FAA’s characterization of delivery drones as “flying food processors” and that drone delivery operators probably need regulation — like training to avoid mishaps and insurance should they occur. had intended to deliver as many free rose bouquets as possible to its beta test group on Valentine’s Day to benchmark the delivery capacity of its drone. The company currently uses traditional delivery methods to serve several million other customers across the country.

Berry said the FAA didn’t tell him when they might come up with regulations that would allow drone delivery — but said the FAA told him it is “actively working on it. This technology is here to stay. When the time is right, we’ll be ready for orders to be delivered, not by an address, but by GPS coordinates. It’s exciting to plan the future of the business based on this emerging technology.”

Berry’s other delivery methods in development include trucks carrying pre-made bouquets for rapid delivery. has launched a consumer beta program to test alternative delivery methods and other development efforts. Consumers can sign up for the beta test group at Participation is not guaranteed, and you must be a U.S. resident.

The drone flower delivery, which took place Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 in metro Detroit, can be viewed on YouTube here:

Berry also owns Wesley Berry Flowers, a Detroit-based brick-and-mortar florist established by his family in 1946. The company has four stores, including one downtown in the Penobscot Building and another in the Schoolcraft-Greenfield area of Detroit. But Berry said that 98 percent of his company’s business is now done via the website.

TOPICS: Local News
KEYWORDS: drones; faa

1 posted on 02/14/2014 2:45:46 PM PST by Jean S
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To: Jean S

Just how big does a model aircraft have to get before it’s called a drone?

Maybe a mini-zeppelin with the ability to move helium into and back out of a compressed tank to control its buoyancy would be safer as it does not need vigorously chopping blades to keep it aloft.

And however it came, it would be neat if it could bring with itself a video depicting the view from its flight.

This sounds like it’s on the verge of overreaction. The flights appear to happen at the height of kites.

2 posted on 02/14/2014 3:24:36 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (The Lion of Judah will roar for you if you give him a big hug and a cheer and mean it. See my page.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Commercial transport by air.

The FAA doesn’t like not getting their cut.

3 posted on 02/14/2014 3:33:05 PM PST by tcrlaf (Well, it is what the Sheeple voted for....)
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To: Jean S
Outside of the delivery driver manually flying a quad copter from the curb to the front door, there is no drone delivery system in existence that could have been used by This is all a publicity stunt.
4 posted on 02/14/2014 3:39:47 PM PST by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: Yo-Yo

That stunt worked extremely well for Amazon.
Sometimes the second time around not so much...

5 posted on 02/14/2014 3:41:01 PM PST by nascarnation (I'm hiring Jack Palladino to investigate Baraq's golf scores.)
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