A drone carrying a box of delivery food.
Andy Dean Photography/Shutterstock.com

Many of us remember playing that old paper airplane game where you had to dodge birds and powerlines. One particular drone wouldn’t have fared well at it.

A food delivery drone operated by Alphabet subsidiary Wing crashed into powerlines in Brisbane, Australia on Thursday, catching fire and falling to the ground, which probably overcooked the food. Alphabet is the parent company of Google.

The incident prompted energy firm Energex to shut down the network for a reason they never thought they’d have to, leaving about 2,000 customers without power for 45 minutes and another 300 customers without power for three hours.

“The meal was still hot inside the drone’s delivery box when the crew got there,” Energex spokesman Danny Donald told ABC Radio Brisbane.

The company claims this is a rare phenomenon, and at the moment, that appears to be the case. Drones seem no more a threat to powerlines than kites, shoes, birds, falling trees, paper airplanes, and whatever else is thrown at them.

“Fifteen years ago, we asked people to be careful if they were giving their children kites for Christmas and where they were flying them,” Donald told ABC. “Now we’re asking parents to be very careful with where their kids fly their drones.”

Wing began operating in 2019 and delivers food and medicine to customers using autonomous flying drones, having carried out around 250,000 deliveries. They recently expanded to the U.S.

Since it wasn’t delivered in 30 minutes or less, there’s been no word yet on whether the customer got their food for free.

RELATED: How Do Drones Actually Fly?

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Chason Gordon is a staff writer and editor for How-To Geek. His writing has previously appeared in Slate, Vice, Input, and The Globe and Mail, among others. He currently lives in San Antonio, but is on a month-to-month lease.
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