Job Overview


About the Agency

This position involves piloting and test flying 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.


Duties are described at the full performance level.
Pilots/Tests UAVs that are new or critically modified models. Excercises 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,evaluates and suggests new
piloting techniques. Gives technical advice on a wide variety of flight problems such as recommending solutions for undesirable vehicle characteristics, optimization of flight paths, maneuvers, take-offs and
landings, optimizing 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 includes 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.