Jonathan being interviewed on tv about drone law

Proven Authority on Drone Law

Jonathan has made numerous media appearances (New York Times, Politico, Forbes, etc.) on the topic of drones as a drone attorney. His legal analysis of drones has been sought after by major media networks and drone industry-specific media. Not only have the networks reached out to him for his analysis, but they have also cited his legal works when reporting on major drone-related stories. If you are media and are interested in interviewing Jonathan, please contact him.

Jonathan currently is a contributor at Forbes.com for aerospace and defense. He was adjunct faculty at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for their Unmanned Systems Legal and Regulatory Compliance course.

Proven Customer Service

Just check out my Google Reviews page to verify things. I did NOT pay for any of them.

Proven Experience

Few drone attorneys have any manned aircraft experience. Jonathan started flight instructing in South Florida back in 2008. He originally started instructing at a flight school that prepared pilots to go to the airlines. Later on, he flight instructed during the day and went to law school at night.

On 4/6/2021, this was the result of searching the FAA airmen directory: 

Current as of 4/6/2021 with a search on https://amsrvs.registry.faa.gov/airmeninquiry/Main.aspx
Note. Some names produced multiple hits but the middle name did NOT match. It could be possible that the person has two middle names and the person used different legal middle names for the FAA and their attorney name.
Attorney Firm/Company Flight Instructor Certificate Pilot Certificate Remote Pilot Certificate
Jonathan Rupprecht Rupprecht Law CFI & CFII Commercial Yes
Lisa Ellman Hogan Lovells No No No
Matthew J. Clark Hogan Lovells No No No
E. (Ted) Tazewell Ellet Hogan Lovells No No No
Patrick R. Rizzi Hogan Lovells No Private No
Dianna Cooper Hyudai No No No
Brendan Schulman DJI No No No
Enrico Schaefer Drone Law Pro No No No
Mark E. McKinnon Fox Rothchild No No No
Mark A. Dombroff Fox Rothchild No No No
Anna M. Gomez Wiley Rein No No No
Joshua S. Turner Wiley Rein No No No
Gregory S. Walden McGuire Woods No No No
Dean E. Griffith Jones Day No No No
Jennifer L. Richter Akin Gump No No No
Grant J. Guillot Adams and Reese No No No

Why hire just a simple lawyer when you can hire an FAA-certificated flight instructor who is a licensed and practicing attorney?

Proven Results

The petitioner “has drafted a formidable legal team to represent RDQ to address this and other concerns. Jonathan Rupprecht, a Florida-based attorney who is also an FAA certificated flight instructor and unmanned aircraft certified pilot, has a winning track record on challenging FAA rules, having prevailed over the FAA in Taylor v. Huerta, which overturned the agency’s 2015 registration requirement for recreational aircraft. ”  – Forbes


Here is a quick summary of what I have helped accomplish for clients.

As of 8/30/2022:

AS of 5/11/2024:

Part 107 Waivers

  • 158 Waivers Approved (I just stopped counting) for the following:
    • Beyond line of sight package delivery
    • Beyond line of sight over 400ft
    • Beyond line of sight out 10+ nautical miles
    • Drone light show swarming waivers
    • Over people
    • Over moving cars
    • Moving boat in a congested area
    • Over 400ft waivers

Special Programs With The FAA

  • Assisted in setting up and maintaining a special program (Partnership for Safety Program) with the Federal Aviation Administration
  • Set up with the FAA and multiple clients (including an organization) ongoing meetings to accomplish numerous exotic projects and obtain guidance from the FAA.


  • 526+ Exemptions Granted Total
  • 473+ Exemptions Granted to Allow Part 137 Drone Agricultural Aircraft Operations

Operating Certificates

  • 70+ Agricultural Aircraft Operating Certificates from Start to Finish. (I just stopped counting.)

Airspace Authorizations

  • 55 Airspace Authorizations Approved
  • 21 Airspace Authorizations to Allow Waiver Operations

FAA Related Investigation/ Litigation

  • 16 FAA Investigations I Assisted With On the Defense Side
  • 6 Lawsuits Against the FAA I Assisted With On the Plaintiff’s Side


  • Defense
    • Criminal defense against state prosecution in multiple cases (misdemeanor and felony reckless endangerment, trespass, etc.)
    • Criminal defense for a person who allegedly used a drone to drop drugs into a prison. Law enforcement used counter drone equipment.
    • Civil defense against the plaintiff’s accusation of invasion of privacy
  • Plaintiff

Things I’ve Created (No, I do not outsource my work as other attorneys do).

  • Qualitative operational risk assessments. I have calculated the probability of fatality per hour on multiple aircraft for ground risk and also air risk.
  • Quantitative operational risk assessments
  • Concept of Operations Document (CONOPs)
  • Waiver Safety Explanation Guideline Traceability Matrices
  • Operations Manuals (with emergency procedures, normal procedures, etc.)
  • Training Manuals
  • Safety Management System (SMS) Manuals
  • Checklists
  • Special Security Instructions Manuals (Really Important If You Are Working With SSI)

Other Important Things You Might Want To Know

You can verify that I’m an attorney, I have had NO disciplinary history, and I’m eligible to practice law at the Florida Bar’s website. 

I also have malpractice insurance and can provide a certificate of insurance upon request.

Proven Legal Author

Drone Law BookPrior to graduating law school, Jonathan did research on Japan’s integration of unmanned aircraft. From that research, 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. This book is currently being used as a textbook at multiple universities around the U.S. as part of their UAS degree programs. He later was an adviser for one of the amicus briefs for the highly publicized Huerta v. Pirker case.

The first book led into him being requested to be a co-author on an American Bar Association book, while still in law school, 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. This book is in the Harvard Law School Library. unmanned-aircraft-book-harvard

Drone Operator's Logbook

Jonathan’s 100+ drone clients had a growing need for a drone-specific logbook which inspired Jonathan to create the Drone Operator’s Logbook.

Proven Knowledge

The chapter on the FAA rule-making process for the American Bar Association was instrumental in giving him the foundation to assist in the three Taylor v. FAA cases at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the FAA’s drone registration regulations.

Professional Licenses, Achievements, & Memberships

  • FAA Commercial Pilot’s License with an instrument rating for single-engine and multi-engine aircraft.
  • FAA Certified Flight Instructor for Airplanes
  • FAA Certified Flight Instructor for Instruments
  • Florida Bar License
  • U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Federal District Court of the Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. Federal District Court of the Middle District of Florida
  • Eagle Scout

Areas of Knowledge

Over the years of practicing law, I have become familiar with some other areas of the law:

  • Criminal law (I worked at a criminal defense law firm as an associate attorney).
  • Export Controls (ITAR/EAR)
  • Farm leases.
  • Solar leases of real property.

Rupprecht Law Supports the Know Before You Fly Campaign.

Click below to be taken to the website.