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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:  DF14D0013

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$92,052.00 to $141,406.00 / Per Year
Friday, July 11, 2014 to Monday, July 28, 2014
Full Time - Permanent
2 vacancies in the following location:
Edwards AFB, CA View Map
This announcement is open to all qualified U.S. citizens.
Top Secret


About the Agency

This position is included within a specialty that involves the piloting of aircraft used in research, development, and test programs; evaluating test parameters; performing flight and/or ground simulations of advanced missions and aircraft; and actively participating with project engineers and scientists responsible for the development, design, testing, evaluation, and reporting on aircraft modification or new aircraft systems; interfaces with research scientists to design, plan, execute and evaluate science data gathering flights in aircraft.


  • Frequent travel may be required
  • A one-year probationary period may be required
  • Position subject to a pre-employment drug test
  • Position subject to random drug testing
  • Successful completion of a security investigation will be required


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Duties are described at the full performance level.

Serves as a Project Pilot on research platform aircraft that are used airborne research in a variety of scientific and engineering disciplines. Pilots new or critically modified models, such as aircraft with newly designed systems that materially change the flight characteristics of the aircraft or require certification in the type of aircraft. Will be assigned to fly large four-engine jets, two-engine jets, turboprop aircraft or unmanned or remotely piloted aircraft. On a wide variety of missions. Types of platform aircraft may include:B747 SOFIA, DC8, ER2, Gulfstream 2/3, Kingair, RQ-4 Global Hawk and MQ-9 Predator.

Will perform world-wide atmospheric and earth science research flights in support of the Center's Airborne Science and Aeronautical research programs. Missions often require intense preparation, flight planning, and in-flight coordination often with multiple aircraft participating in research campaigns. Missions require flying in potentially hazardous conditions such as extended nightime operations, low altitude, severe weather conditions, and operations in austere locations worldwide.

The pilot develops and/or modifies aircraft operating procedures to accomplish research objectives. These may include operating the aircraft safely outside the normal altitude and temperature ranges. Prepares and conducts training for the aircrew and researchers aboard the aircraft. May assist test pilots during experimental test flights of new systems or equipment on Airborne Science aircraft. Writes research memorandums, papers, flight notes, articles, operating memorandums, and comments.

Performs duties as a Project Pilot for programs which have national impact and encompass difficult and diverse functions or issues that affect critical aspects of major agency-wide programs. Performs preflight planning, inspections and checks of the aircraft systems; performs weight and balance, takeoff and landing and performance data computations, manages navigation and clearances, monitors the operation of aircraft systems throughout the flight and control saircraft environmental systems. Coordinates the operation of the aircraft experiments with the mission director and controlling agencies.

Pilot assignment also includes operating turbojet or turboprop aircraft on a variety of program support flights. The 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. These aircraft are also used to transport personnel to and from a wide variety of locations.


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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.

To qualify for the GS 13 level, applicants must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS 12 level. Examples of experience at the GS 12 level should include operations of modified aircraft or aircraft systems, mission planning and analysis, procedure development, flight crew training, and research piloting or flight test experience including aircraft systems tests.

To qualify for the GS 14 level, applicants must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS 13 level. In addition to GS 12 level experience above, examples of experience at the GS 13 level should include large, multi-engine aircraft operations as Pilot in Command especially high performance and extended envelope fixed-wing and/or rotary-wing research or experimental aircraft, complex mission planning, international flight operations, in-flight coordination with multiple aircraft, flight in hazardous conditions to include considerable nighttime operations, and Airline Transport Pilot Rating.

Applicant should describe in their resume, experience which demonstrates knowledge of aircraft operations, flight test programs, and testing evaluation techniques/procedures. Please include any research, engineering, or flight test experience, including aircraft systems tests, and any experience developing procedures, training, or mission planning. Please include all aircraft experience including helicopter, single engine and multi-engine experience.

Must have large aircraft experience (greater than 150,000 pounds). Please describe your experience, to include research piloting or testing of large aircraft, in your resume.

Candidates must meet the Basic Education Requirement, the Specialized Experience requirement, and the Additional Qualification Requirements as outlined below:

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

Must possess a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Commercial Pilot license with instrument, multi-engine and single engine land ratings or the appropriate military rating.

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

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 recency of flight experience as follows (refer to OPM Operating Manual for GS-2181: Aircraft Operations Series requirements):

1500 hours Total Flight Time
1500 hours Pilot-In-Command, with 750 hours as Pilot In Command in transport or bomber class aircraft (greater than 150,000 pounds)
75 hours Night Flying
100 hours Flying Time, 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.


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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You can review our benefits at:


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.

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

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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