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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Aerospace Engineer, AST Research Pilot
Department:  National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Agency:  Dryden Flight Research Center
Job Announcement Number:  DF13D0030

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$107,701.00 to $155,500.00 / Per Year
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 to Monday, June 03, 2013
Full Time - Permanent
1 vacancy in the following location:
Edwards AFB, CAView Map
This announcement is open to all qualified U.S. citizens.


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.


  • Position subject to a pre-employment drug test
  • Position subject to random drug testing
  • This is a drug-testing designated position
  • A one-year probationary period may be required
  • Selectee must complete a financial disclosure statement


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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.


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The work requires a detailed knowledge of, and extensive experience, in aircraft operations, especially in
Uninhabited Air Vehicles (UAVs). In addition, the work also requires knowledge of and proficiency in
aeronautical engineering and related engineering and scientific fields.

Applicant must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the next lower grade, which has
equipped the applicant with the particular competencies needed to successfully perform the duties of the
position described above. Test pilots with no UAV experience who wish to work as a UAV test pilot and advocate are encouraged to apply.

Examples of experience at the GS 13 level should include flying research missions in a variety of aircraft. Performing aerospace engineering and pilot duties on research aircraft. Giving technical advice on a variety of flight problems such as recommended solutions for undesirable vehicle characteristics. UAV experience is highly desired.

In addition to the GS 13 level experience above, experience at the GS 14 level should include
Piloting/Testing a variety of new or critically modified UAVs. Consulting 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.


Must possess a current first-class medical certificate or equivalent, in accordance with FAA regulations at
time of appointment.

Must possess a FAA Commercial Pilot certificate or higher with an airplane rating or the appropriate
military rating.

Pilots must have completed a flight test course (military test pilot school long course or equivalent) or at least one year of test piloting experience is required.

NOTE: Candidates establishing eligibility based on military flight experience must provide official orders,
forms, or logbooks showing their status as a rated military pilot.

Resume must show flight experience to include documentation to show possession of the knowledge and
skills required for the work by meeting certain minimum flight hour requirements in manned aircraft,
including recent flight experience as follows (refer to OPM Operating Manual for GS-2181: Aircraft
Operations Series requirements):

1750 hours Total Flight Time
1500 Hours Pilot-In-Command
75 hours Night Flying
100 hours Flying Time during the last 12 months.

Please include flight test experience and Test Pilot School attended and class if applicable.

Basic Education Requirement: A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major study in engineering, physical science, mathematics, life sciences, computer science, or other field of science. Degrees in engineering technology are not considered to be qualifying for this position.

U.S. citizenship is required.


NASA uses an automated system (Resumix) that matches the competencies extracted from your resume to the competencies identified by the selecting official for the position. Based on the competencies you match, you are placed in one of three categories identified as 90, 80, or 70 pt. quality categories, which are defined as:

90 pt. Category - Tentatively meets (until subsequent confirmation upon referral) the basic qualification requirements identified in the vacancy announcement and has experience in the same or similar job that has demonstrated superior proficiency in the primary requirements of the position.

80 pt. Category - Tentatively meets (until subsequent confirmation upon referral) the basic qualification requirements identified in the vacancy announcement and demonstrates satisfactory proficiency in the primary requirements of the position.

70 pt. Category - Fails to meet criteria described in the 80 pt. category.
Additional application guidance is available in NASA's Applicant Guide.

Information for Veterans: The Category Rating Process protects the rights of veterans by placing them ahead of non-preference eligibles within each category. Preference eligibles who meet qualification requirements and have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent must be listed at the top of the highest quality category, except when the position being filled is scientific or professional at the GS-09 grade level or higher.

For the purpose of the Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) and the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP), candidates rated in the top quality category are considered well-qualified.


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NASA offers excellent benefit programs and competitive salaries. To learn more about pay and benefits at NASA, click HERE.


Any applicant tentatively selected for this position may be required to undergo a pre-employment background investigation.

Individuals who have special priority selection rights under the Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) must be well qualified for the position to receive consideration for special priority selection. See 'How You Will Be Evaluated' for definition of well qualified.

Federal employees seeking CTAP/ICTAP consideration must indicate their eligibility when applying for a position. The USAJOBS resume asks you to identify your ICTAP eligibility; the NASA Supplemental Information asks you to identify your CTAP eligibility. If you are selected for the position, you must be prepared to submit proof that you meet the requirements for CTAP/ICTAP. This includes a copy of the agency notice, a copy of their most recent Performance Rating and a copy of their most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty location.

As a condition of employment, male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must certify that they have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law.

In order to receive preference in hiring, you must clearly identify your claim for veterans preference on your resume.

U.S. citizenship is required. NASA's Applicant Guide provides the information needed to assist you in determining whether or not you can claim 5 or 10 point veterans preference. You should not submit documents to prove your eligibility for veterans preference at this time. However, you must be prepared to submit proof of veterans preference (DD-214, and, if claiming 10-point preference, SF-15 plus proof required by that form) as requested by the Human Resources Office. Veterans preference will only be considered based on what is supported. For instance, if you claim 10-point preference, but are only able to document 5-point preference, you will be considered accordingly. If you fail to provide the required documents within the stated time period, we may withdraw a job offer and/or remove you from further consideration.

Your USAJOBS account asks you to assign a name to each of your resumes. When you apply to a NASA position, we will show you the text of the resume you have submitted, but we do not maintain the name you have assigned to that resume. If you wish to keep track of that information, we recommend you make note of it at the time you apply.

Identification of promotion potential in this position does not constitute a commitment or an obligation on the part of management to promote the employee. Promotion will depend upon administrative approval and the continuing need for an actual assignment and performance of higher level duties.

Travel and relocation expenses are not authorized.

Any individual selected for this position must be able to obtain and maintain a security clearance.

Occasional travel may be required.


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This vacancy is being filled through NASA STARS, an automated Staffing and Recruitment System. NASA partners with USAJOBS in providing a seamless application process. Before you begin the application process, please read the vacancy announcement carefully and have all required information available. You may begin the process of submitting your resume by clicking on the 'Apply Online' link.

In order to be considered, you must submit a resume completed on the USAJOBS site. When completing your USAJOBS resume, please remember that NASA limits resumes to the equivalent of approximately SIX typed pages, or approximately 22,000 characters including spaces. You will NOT be allowed to complete the application process if your resume is too long or if your resume was uploaded to USAJobs from a second source. Additionally, NASA does not accept documents attached through USAJobs' document attachment feature.

Once you submit your resume to NASA, you will be asked to complete a short series of additional questions. You must finish the entire process in order to have a complete application package and receive consideration. Your answers will not be saved unless you finish the entire application.

You may edit a previously-submitted application, if the announcement is still open. For more information, see the Applicant Guide.

If you are unable to apply electronically for this position, submit your resume and supplemental questions to: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Resume Operations Center, Mailstop: HS50, Marshall Space Flight Center, AL 35812. DO NOT submit your resume directly to the Center advertising this vacancy. Mailed resumes must be received by the close of business on the closing date of the announcement. Hard copy resumes requirements are provided at: Hard Copy Resume Requirements.

If you are a first time applicant, we recommend that you review NASA's Applicant Guide to ensure that you are providing a complete resume. Failure to submit the supplemental data and a resume that contains all of the required information may result in loss of consideration for positions in which you are interested.

All applications must be received no later than midnight Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement.


NASA's application process has been specifically developed to ensure that we only ask you for the information we absolutely need to evaluate your qualifications and eligibility. In order to apply for this position, you only need to submit your resume and answer the screening questions and supplemental information. No additional documentation is accepted at the time of application. (For example you need not submit narrative 'KSA' statements; they are not required and will not be evaluated.) In this way we allow you to focus on preparing a resume that best describes your background and abilities. For assistance in preparing your resume, consult the Applicant Guide.

Nothing further is required until requested by the Human Resources Office. At that point, we may ask you to submit documentation to support statements made in your resume. For example, we may ask you to provide academic transcripts or proof of Federal employment status. If you are claiming veterans' preference, we may ask you to submit proof of veterans preference (DD-214, and, if claiming 10-point preference, SF-15 plus proof required by that form). If you fail to provide the required documents within the stated time period, we may withdraw a job offer and/or remove you from further consideration.


Sandra Evans
Agency Information:
NASA's Resume Operations Center
Mailstop HS50
Marshall Space Flight Center, AL


Candidates for NASA positions are evaluated using our automated staffing and recruitment system, NASA STARS, which compares your skills and experience as described in your resume with the requirements of the position. If you are found to be a highly qualified candidate, you will be referred to the selecting official for further consideration. (In some cases, individuals with priority for special consideration must be considered and selected before other candidates.) Whether or not you are contacted for an interview depends upon the location of the position and the judgment of the selecting official.

At NASA, we pride ourselves on efficient and timely recruitment actions, and you can normally expect to learn the outcome of the selection process in a fairly short period of time. In addition, to ensure that you can measure progress for yourself, NASA provides you with regularly updated information on the status of the vacancy announcement.

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