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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:  DF14C0027

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$92,051.00 to $157,100.00 / Per Year
Wednesday, July 2, 2014 to Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Full Time - Permanent
1 vacancy in the following location:
Edwards AFB, CA View Map
Open to current Federal employees serving on a career or career-conditional appointment, former Federal employees eligible for reinstatement, or those eligible for non-competitive appointment under special authorities. NASA term employees with term conversion eligibility under P.L. 108-201 may also apply. Veterans who are preference eligibles or who have been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions after 3 or more years of continuous active service may apply.
Top Secret


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.


  • Position subject to a pre-employment drug test
  • Position subject to random drug testing
  • This is a drug-testing designated position
  • Successful completion of a security investigation will 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. 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.


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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.

Flight test positions also require completion of a flight test course such as a military flight test school or the FAA flight test pilot course, or at least 1 year of experience either flight testing aircraft for engineering approval (civilian or military) or analyzing aircraft performance data.

To qualify for the GS 13 level, examples of GS 12 level experience should include flight test experience
involving aircraft performance, handling qualities, structural testing, high AOA (Stall) testing.

To qualify for the GS 14 level, examples of GS 13 level specialized experience should include flying
research missions in RQ-4, MQ-1 or MQ-9 as the primary pilot or instructor pilot, performing
aerospace engineering and pilot duties on research aircraft, and giving technical advice on a variety of flight anomalies such as recommended solutions for undesirable air vehicle flying qualities. Experience should also include previous employment as a mid-level (or higher) flight operations manager responsible for
qualifications, training and flight schedules for a group of pilots, such as a former Chief Pilot (or Deputy), Operations Officer (or Deputy) or Director of Training.

To qualify for the GS 15 level, in addition to the GS 13 level specialized experience above, specialized
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 of higher with an Airplane rating or the appropriate
military rating.

NOTE: Candidates establishing eligibility based on military flight experience will be asked to 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 flight time that includes at least 500 hours in jet aircraft having at least 3,000 pounds of thrust per engine, with
75 hours Night Flying
100 hours Flying Time during the last 12 months.

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.


Resumes will be rated by an automated system (Resumix) that matches the competencies extracted from the candidate's resume to the competencies identified by the selecting official for the position. Candidates will be evaluated on the competencies they possess that are directly related to the duties of the job, as described in this announcement. Candidates should refer to NASA's Applicant Guide for assistance in developing a complete resume. NASA will not accept separate KSA statement.

A category rating method will be used to evaluate candidates. All candidates will be assigned to either a 70, 80, or 90 pt. quality category based on the degree to which their competencies meet the position requirements. All candidates in the 90 pt group, which is the highest quality category, may be referred for consideration. A human resources specialist will validate the qualifications of those candidates eligible to be referred to the selecting official. In certain instances when a large candidate pool exists within the highest quality category, additional weighting of scores may occur to further distinguish best qualified candidates. 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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You can review our benefits at:


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.U.S. citizenship is required.Qualified NASA term employees who have term conversion eligibility under the NASA Flexibility Act of 2004 will be referred and considered equally with other NASA permanent employees under internal competitive placement procedures.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.

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

Current Federal employees must meet time in grade and three months after competitive appointment restrictions by the closing date of the announcement.

Occasional travel may be required.

The payment of relocation expenses is not authorized.


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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 32,000 characters including spaces. NASA does not accept resumes uploaded to USAJOBS from a second source or 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.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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