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 is located in the Aircraft Support Branch in the Maintenance Division of the Flight Operations Directorate.

Incumbent develops novel research instruments, test devices, or prototype components with difficult performance requirements. Serves as a research aircraft engineering technician assigned the more difficult and priority research projects entailing the development and implementation of extensive research modifications. These modifications include the troubleshooting, repair, maintenance, installation, testing and evaluation of complex research aircraft mechanical systems and their interface to the basic research aircraft platform.

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


Incumbent actively participates with the senior research aircraft engineering technician (crew chief) in planning and executing complete research aircraft mechanical projects, the scope, complexity, and magnitude of which may require the incumbent's technical leadership of lower grade aircraft mechanics, as assigned. As a research aircraft engineering technician, incumbent is assigned the more difficult and complex portions of extensive modifications, repairs and/or maintenance projects which are of a critical and high priority nature. Independently performs a major portion of extensive modifications, repairs, and/or maintains projects, and plans, schedules, and coordinates own assignments and determines appropriate technical approach required. Most, if not all extensive modifications greatly affect the weight and balance as well as the flight characteristics of the aircraft.

Incumbent originates mechanical designs to implement experimental installations. Evaluates design changes and modifications to on-board systems, and devises or approves the test procedures to determine the operational suitability of these systems. Determines the structural integrity and adequacy of the aircraft within the design and/or maximum safe flight envelope. Determines specification compliance and mission suitability for assigned experiments aboard the aircraft.

Collaborates with Operations or Research Engineers on complicated aircraft adaptations and/or extensive modifications that require considerable elaboration. Makes recommendations for practical resolutions to modifications to accommodate research requirements without affecting the airworthiness of the aircraft. Advises inspectors as to what assemblies or systems have been fabricated or modified, and the results expected from these extensive modifications or fabrications. Works with the crew chief in studying pending modifications or installations to determine necessity for repositioning or removing existing equipment, lines or tubes, or modification of mounts and braces to accommodate flight research systems, equipment, or components. Recommends where to install experimental components, assemblies, or system for operational compatibility with other systems.

Incumbent assembles and tests components to assure research requirements are achieved prior to delivery. Incumbent makes final acceptance/rejection recommendations to supervision and the Quality Assurance and Inspection Offices after resolving problem areas and negotiating any required modifications with the researcher and/or contractor.