Aerospace Engineer, AST, Research Pilot

Hampton, Virginia
Nov 08, 2019
Nov 17, 2019
Engineer, IT, QA Engineer
Full Time


Serves as an Aerospace Engineer/Research Pilot at Langley Research Center, piloting aircraft and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) used in research, development, and test programs; planning and 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 new aircraft or aircraft systems.
Learn more about this agency


  • Serves as a Lead Aerospace Engineer/Research Pilot on assigned flight, piloted-simulation, and UAS experiments and provides support piloting/operational consultation on other experiments/activities.
  • Serves as a Lead Test Pilot while conducting aircraft/space hardware test programs to meet research program objectives.
  • Provides assistance to researchers/operations engineers for experiment planning, implementation, data collection, analysis, reporting and presentation of technical results.
  • Develops/designs flight operations, equipment, or systems for a broad range of interdisciplinary activities and highly specialized functions that cut across conventional lines of engineering/scientific fields or address new technologies.
  • Initiates, designs, develops and executes complex experiment methods, procedures, techniques, and requirements. Serves as a safety pilot during flight experiments/research with other subject pilots.
  • Initiates, reviews and collaborates on hazard identification and analysis, risk classification, human factors considerations, and research hazard mitigation.
  • Applies accepted flight research principles/practices/techniques for aircraft operation or data collection to meet requirements of specific research experiments.
  • Required to operate LaRC aircraft & simulators to maintain required proficiency levels & provide support to LaRC/programs; may include aerobatic maneuvering, chase, formation, aerial photography/survey, logistics, maintenance & mission mgmt flights.
  • Maintains proficiency in different aircraft and demonstrates ability to handle in-flight emergencies. Implements policy by writing accident plans and procedure manuals.
  • Reviews and conducts complex analysis and development studies in support of major safety programs including analysis of novel, unprecedented, or controversial problems.
  • Plans and conducts experimental studies involving several engineering disciplines and/or specifications that result in new design guidelines and have a profound effect on program or mission capability and operating procedures.
  • Documents and reports study results. Manages overall development efforts for a significant and complex end product or a major subject-matter entity, such as all system, vehicle, and simulation projects.
  • Serves as a Project Manager for NASA and non-NASA projects. Makes substantial and continuing contribution to long-range project planning and to the formulation, modification, and determination of overall objectives.
  • Coordinates with other offices within the RSD and external customers to establish content, cost, and schedule of products, deliverables, and services.
  • Provides interface between the Directorate, researchers, and customers to coordinate project requirements, schedule, budget and project risk. Provides customer support in meeting project reviews, ensuring the project is ready to progress.
  • Serves in an advisory role in the development of regulatory initiatives to improve upon safety. Supports technical program planning and advises, negotiates, and coordinates in execution of plans.
  • Develops mission operations plans to accomplish flight operations objectives such as analyzing airplane and experiment design to determine compatibility with flight operations objectives.
  • Interfaces with experiment developers, flight crew, and systems personnel in formulating and applying system constraints and procedures to flight documentation or flight and ground activities.
  • Supports development of mission operational requirements by assisting in planning/performing analysis, integration & evaluation of operations resource requirements, operation development schedules & overall operations plans for aeronautic missions.
  • Supports the design and development of conventional components of related space flight technology, equipment, hardware, or systems. Understands operational constraints to ensure their compatibility with mission objectives.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Travel may be required for training or other work-related duties

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • Successful completion of a Secret Security Clearance investigation will be required.
  • A one-year probationary period may be required.
  • Occasional travel may be required.
  • Selectee must complete a financial disclosure statement.
  • Position subject to pre-employment and random drug testing.


SELECTIVE PLACEMENT FACTOR: Applicants must possess the following Selective Placement Factor to be considered minimally qualified for this position: The applicant must have: (1) A current Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Commercial Pilot License with an instrument rating or a current pilot and instrument rating from the armed services; (2) Successfully completed a Class 1 Flight Physical in accordance with FAA regulations which must be current at the time of application and appointment, and (3) a formal Project Management certificate or one year project manager experience documented in the resume.

Those without these certifications specified in their resume will be found not qualified for this position so please specifically address the requirement and provide appropriate dates in order to be considered.

Applicant must also have a minimum of 1,500 hours of pilot-in-command (or first pilot) flight time that included at least 500 hours in jet aircraft having at least 3,000 pounds of thrust per engine; plus one year of research piloting experience equivalent to the next lower grade in the Federal service.

Please provide the following information in your resume:
1. Total Pilot Time
2. Pilot in Command time
3. Second In Command time
4. >3000lbs thrust/engine time
5. Jet Aircraft time
6. Instrument Time
7. Instructor Time
8. Night Time
9. Flight Time in last 12 months

In addition to these requirements, applicant must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the next lower grade in the federal government, which has equipped the applicant with the particular competencies needed to successfully perform the duties of the position described above.

Examples of specialized experience include: experience as a pilot in an aerospace research environment that provided knowledge and skill in aerospace engineering or research flight operations that provided knowledge and proficiency in aeronautical engineering and related engineering and scientific fields.

Applicant must have the ability to attend and complete an accredited formal Test Pilot School curriculum as a condition of employment in order to be considered eligible for promotion to the full performance level of GS15.

Required to maintain a sufficient physical fitness level in order to perform the strenuous duties of Research Pilot and to continue to pass a Class 1 Flight Physical in accordance with FAA and NASA regulations.

This vacancy announcement has been amended to extend the closing date from 11/1/19 to 11/15/19.


Basic Education Requirement: A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major study in Aeronautical Engineering, Aeronautics, Aerospace Engineering, Architecture, Astronautical Engineering, Astronautics, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Biomedical Engineering, Ceramic Engineering, Ceramics, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science*, Life Science, Earth and Planetary Science, Electrical Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Geology, Geophysics, Industrial Engineering, Materials Engineering, Materials Science, Mathematics (Pure or Applied), Applied Mechanics, Engineering Mechanics, Mechanical Engineering, Metallurgical Engineering, Metallurgy, Meteorology, Nuclear Engineering, Nuclear Engineering Physics, Oceanography, Optical Engineering, Physics, Applied Physics, Engineering Physics, Space Science, Structural Engineering, Welding Engineering or other appropriate physical science or engineering field. Degrees in engineering technology are not considered to be qualifying for this position.

*Note: Curriculum must include 30 semester hours of course work in a combination of mathematics, statistics and computer science that provided in-depth knowledge of the following: (1) theoretical foundations and practical applications of computer science, including digital computer system architecture and system software organization, the representation and transformation of information structures and the theoretical models for such representations and transformations; and (2) essential mathematical and statistical techniques. Of the 30 semester hours, 15 must be in any combination of statistics and mathematics which includes differential and integral calculus.

When there is a positive education requirement, or you are using education to qualify as a substitution for experience, official transcripts will be required at the time of selection to verify that you meet the educational requirement or substitution.

A degree(s) must have been awarded from colleges or universities that are accredited by recognized accrediting organizations. For a list of schools that meet this criteria, go to

Engineering degrees must have been awarded from a college or university school of engineering with at least one curriculum accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). To find out if a degree meets this requirement, go to

All degrees must have been received in the year of, or any year subsequent to the original date of accreditation.

Foreign Education: If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show that the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university. For further information, visit:

Additional information

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.

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.

Fair Employment Opportunities for Applicants
NASA Credit for National Service

As identical vacancies are identified, additional selections may be made.

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.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

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

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Required Documents

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.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

Similar jobs