In December 2014, Jonathan Rupprecht formed Rupprecht Law, a firm providing legal services for operators of unmanned aerial vehicles.
Jonathan authored a book on the law in the United States pertaining to unmanned aircraft called Drones: Their Many Civilian Uses and the U.S. Laws Surrounding Them. He later was an advisor for one of the amicus briefs for the Huerta v. Pirker case.
We talk with Jonathan about the state of drone law, areas that need to be figured out (like export control, frequency allocation, federal versus local jurisdiction), and what lawyers can offer (such as support for building the business plan.) Jonathan discusses how issues like privacy might already be covered under existing laws, the open issue of navigable airspace, and the notice and comment process. We also consider building safety awareness among the general drone-flying public.
Jonathan Rupprecht is a commercial pilot for single and multi-engine aircraft ratings and also a flight instructor for airplanes and instruments. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Magna Cum Laude, and a Juris Doctor from Florida International University School of Law.
The first book led into him being requested to be a co-author on an American Bar Association book called Unmanned Aircraft in the National Airspace: Critical Issues, Technology, and the Law. Jonathan wrote on administrative law, the FAA rule making process, and the special rule on unmanned aircraft.
The NASA Unmanned Aerial System Traffic Management system, or UTM, is a cloud-based concept to manage air traffic operated beyond visual line of sight at low altitudes. UTM Principal Investigator Dr. Parimal Kopardekar says, “We need a way to organize the UAS traffic, whether that’s by crisscrossing or with a bike lane or HOV lane kind of construct. The system can make these things happen based on demand. UTM is a virtual system.”
To learn more, the Guardian filed a Freedom of Information Act request for documents and learned that last year telecom company Verizon signed an agreement with NASA “to jointly explore whether cell towers … could support communications and surveillance of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) at low altitudes.”
The Solara 50 drone built by Google-owned Titan Aerospace crashed shortly after takeoff. The solar powered, 50 foot wingspan drone is designed to linger at 65,000 feet and provide Internet connectivity. The NTSB is investigating.
The Boeing patent is titled, “Autonomous aircraft with disconnectable tether” and describes a system where drones drop tethers to ground-based charging stations.
Video of the Week
Listener Heath sent in the link to this video showing some of the flooding around the Shreveport, Louisiana area. It’s a very artistic portrayal of a very serious situation. Part 2 is more of a look at the effect of the flooding on people.
Max appeared on the KSFR 101.1FM, Santa Fe Public Radio show, Here and There with journalism pro Dave Marash. They talked about drones, applications, regulatory issues, privacy, and more.
Singer Enrique Iglesias catches a quadcopter with his hand in his act. Things didn’t go so well for Iglesias in the Tijuana performance.
Extreme Sandbox in Hastings, Minnesota opened an extreme adventure attraction called RC Adventure where visitors can operate DJI Phantom 2 drones on obstacle courses.