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Tuesday, Sep 23, 2014
Military News

NOAA drone parts reunited after delivery error

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Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2014 at 08:04 PM

The Puma has its wings.

Missing since Monday when they were mistakenly delivered to a college student in New York, the wings, and ground controller system of the Puma unmanned aerial system is now back together with the rest of the aircraft, according to officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“The package containing the Puma parts was sent from New York state yesterday,” NOAA spokesman David Hall said in an email to The Tribune Wednesday evening. “UPS delivered it to Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary office in Scituate, Mass., this morning.”

On Monday, a college student in New York, identified only as “Seventy-Seven” posted on the social media site Reddit that he had received a package from UPS containing the drone parts from NOAA, based at MacDill Air Force Base. The parts were supposed to have been delivered to NOAA’s Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary in Massachusetts.

UPS officials say they are investigating what happened.

“We deliver nearly 17 million packages every day,” said UPS spokesman Susan Rosenberg on Tuesday. “Do we make mistakes? Yes.”

The package contained wings and the ground controller system for the Puma, a hand-launched aircraft with a wingspan of about 9 feet, according to NOAA. Each one has a 5-megapixel camera and can fly for about two hours at speeds up to 55 miles per hour and altitudes up to 10,000 feet.

“I don’t know if they have attempted to assemble the Puma,” said Hall. “The project doesn’t begin until May 19.”

haltman@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7629

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