MacDill drone ends up on student's doorstep

Tampa, Florida -- It was the post that got Reddit talking: "I think I just got a drone in the mail."

The poster, a college student who goes by the name Seventy_Seven on Reddit, says he got an unexpected package on Monday. It was part of an unmanned aircraft from NOAA's facility at MacDill Air Force Base.

A note inside the package said the equipment was "USA Federal Property" and should be returned to NOAA's Aircraft Operations Center at MacDill.

NOAA spokesman David Miller told 10 News the box was one of eight containing a Puma unmanned aircraft meant for Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary in Massachusetts.

"The commercial carrier made an error in delivering one of the components," said Miller. "It was a box that contained the wings and the control system for the unmanned aircraft."

Miller says NOAA is working with the recipient and the carrier (UPS, according to the student who received it) to get it delivered to the correct location.

The Puma aircraft may look a lot like a large model airplane and can be launched by hand, but it is much more advanced.

"It's basically a flying camera," said Miller. "We've used them for marine life and seabird study, oceanographic and atmospheric research and it could even be used if we need to do an environmental damage assessment."

The poster on Reddit says he opened the package because it came along with a weightlifting bench he ordered.

Watch video of a Puma All-Environment unmanned aerial vehicle in flight:


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