Job Overview


NASA, the world's leader in space and aeronautics is always seeking outstanding scientists, engineers, and other talented professionals to carry forward the great discovery process that its mission demands. Creativity. Ambition. Teamwork. A sense of daring. And a probing mind. That's what it takes to join NASA, one of the best places to work in the Federal Government.

This position pilots Uninhabited Air Vehicles (UAVs) aircraft used in research, development, and test
programs, evaluating test parameters, performing flight and/or ground simulations of advanced missions and
aircraft, and participating in the development, design, testing, evaluation, and reporting on new aircraft
concepts and new advanced aircraft systems. The work may include piloting prototype research and
development aircraft, serving as an instructor pilot, or providing real-time aircraft support to missions.


Successful completion of a security investigation leading to a secret (or top secret) clearance will be required.

Occasional travel may be required.

As identical vacancies are identified, additional selections may be made.


Duties are described at the full performance level.
Pilots/Tests UAVs that are new or critically modified models. Exercises technical leadership in a UAV
flight systems specialty. Demonstrates scientific and engineering judgment to support UAV research
projects. Flies research missions in a variety of UAV research aircraft as a UAV pilot. Plans, develops, and
coordinates pilot activities necessary to conduct UAV flight research missions. Significantly influences the
direction research will take and the rate of progress desired. Evaluates proposed experimental research
projects to ascertain their feasibility and practicability relative to the flight capability of Center UAV
research vehicles. Accomplishes difficult research flight investigations that extend the knowledge of
aerospace flight regimes and vehicles. Investigates critical flight regimes and evaluates and suggests new
piloting techniques. Gives technical advice on a wide variety of flight problems such as recommended
solutions for undesirable vehicle characteristics, optimization of flight paths, maneuvers, take-offs and
landings, optimized use of pilots in advanced missions, and others. Routinely consult on a variety of issues
and initiatives aimed at understanding Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) operations, developing regulatory
policy, systems development, technical advancement, and research application of unmanned aerial systems.
Develop and conduct UAS flight operations on missions requiring extensive coordination with the Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA) and involving national airspace integration to an extent that greatly exceeds
operations of all other government agencies. Provides final expert opinion on proposed UAS flight profiles
and projects characterized by constantly, and sometimes greatly, changing variables and unknowns affecting
planning and execution. Frequently resolves unusual demands caused by extraordinary operational urgency
or public interest and sensitivity associated with UAS operations. Performs pre-project planning duties, such as concept and flight plan development, Certificate of Authorization (COA) development, and master
scheduling. Performs aerospace engineering and pilot duties on NASA research aircraft, as well as for flight
test programs, training flights, and various flight simulation studies. Monitors structural and electronic
modifications to NASA aircraft, develops and conducts flight test programs, and determines aircraft flight
readiness. Serves as a Pilot on research platform aircraft that are used for a variety of scientific and
engineering disciplines. Assignments also include operating turbojet or turboprop aircraft on a variety of
program support flights and world-wide atmospheric and earth science research flights in support of the
Center's Airborne Science and Aeronautical research programs. Missions require flying in hazardous
conditions such as high altitude or severe weather conditions. Program support missions involve flying in
close proximity to research aircraft to provide visual and photographic surveillance while they are
conducting flight tests and functional check flights.