NASA LaRC seeking Range Safety Officer and UAS pilot

NASA Langley Research Center, located in Hampton VA, is seeking to fill an AST, Flight Systems Safety Engineer position – GS-11/12/13. This appointment has funding confirmed for 2 years under the Schedule A(r) hiring authority and is open only to US Citizens. The Schedule A(r) hiring authority may be extended but cannot exceed a 4-year appointment.

Position Title: Flight Systems Safety Engineer and UAS pilot
Location: NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA
Salary range: $ 64,961– $ 92,588
Appointment duration: 2 years not to exceed 4 years

NASA Langley Research Center was established in 1917 as the first civil aeronautics research laboratory. For over a century the Center’s research, science, and technology development have advanced aviation, spaceflight, and scientific discovery. Further, we are transforming our institution to make sure that we cultivate the ideas, capabilities and workforce needed for the future.

The UAS Operations Office (UASOO) provides operational oversight over all UAS operations and UAS flight crews across LaRC.

This office is responsible for:Establishing and ensuring compliance with procedures in accordance with requirements set forth in NPR 7900.3 series, Chapter 5Ensuring that all UAS acquisitions and flights are properly approved and documented

•Establishing, validating and documenting UAS flight crew initial and recurrent qualification standards, frequency-of-experience requirements, and continued trainingDetermining UAS airworthiness, maintenance and quality control standards and ensuring appropriate engineering rigor has been applied to all UASManaging and tracking UAS compliance with the Langley Information Technology System Security Plan (ITSSP) and associated Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs)Establishing communication link/frequency management plans, flight control system and configuration control procedures, backup systems, flight terminations systems—including ground abort
Providing Range Safety oversight of all UAS flight activities

•Providing UAS pilots, ground control station operators, visual observers and other personnel to support UAS operations

•Integrating payloads and configuring flight control systems of UASProviding infrastructure and logistical support for UAS flightCoordinating range agreements and FAA authorizations with the appropriate organizations

The Office was recently awarded the GSA Interagency Committee for Aviation Policy (ICAP) award for an Unmanned Program, which recognizes a program that is “judged to be the most outstanding, safest, most efficient and most effective, in all aspects of a flight program – aviation management/administration, operations, maintenance, training, and safety” in the Federal Government.This position will provide Range Safety oversight of NASA Langley UAS operations, primarily conducted on Langley Research Center and other locations in the local area. The position will also serve as a UAS pilot for sUAS fixed-wing and multirotor platforms.

Principle Duties and Responsibilities:

Range Safety Officer (RSO) – in this role, the candidate will provide range safety oversight for UAS flight operations and adhere to applicable NASA, OSHA and aviation safety standards. The incumbent will ensure that proper safety mitigations are enacted in the field as documented in the Flight Authorization.

They will file NOTAM requests and verify facility availability prior to deployments and perform pre-flight briefings including weather, safety procedures and roles and responsibilities.

They serve as a Visual Observer for UAS flight operations and manage visitors and other non-participating personnel during flight operations.

In the event of an incident, the RSO takes control of an operation and notifies appropriate personnel should an incident occur during a flight operation.

NASA specific training and designation as an RSO and Visual Observer will be provided.UAS Pilot/Operator – The candidate shall also serve as a UAS Pilot/Operator for the UASOO.

This role is distinct from the RSO role identified above. The incumbent will be required to safely operate NASA owned multi-rotor and fixed-wing unmanned aircraft, often in a research configuration. The incumbent may also serve as a Ground Control Station Operator for UAS flights.

This person shall have a working knowledge of typical sUAS flight control systems, including autopilot and telemetry systems. NASA specific training and designation as a UAS Pilot will be provided.

Prior possession of a FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate is beneficial but not required.

Both the Visual Observer and UAS Pilot roles require the applicant to be able to pass an FAA 3rd class medical examination.As this position is for an AeroSpace Technologist (AST) at the GS-11/12/13 level, the applicant must possess a bachelor’s degree or higher in an engineering field from an ABET accredited college and have documented experience in a related field.

IMPORTANT – If you claim Veteran’s Preference eligibility, be sure to indicate so in your response back to me. You must be a US Citizen to work for NASA in this position.

Interested? Send a current resume to Tommy Jordan at ‘[email protected]’ and Sandy Johnson at ‘[email protected]’ no later than COB July 26, 2021.

About Schedule A(r): The Schedule A(r) authority is an excepted service hiring authority developed to help agencies provide developmental or professional experiences for individuals who have completed their formal education; professional/industry exchange programs that provide for cross-fertilization between the agency and the private sector to foster mutual understanding and exchange ideas; or, to bring experienced practitioners to the agency. Appointments are time limited and may last up to 4 years. These appointments confer no rights to further Federal employment in either the Competitive or Excepted Service.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you,
Tommy Jordan
Head, UAS Operations Office
NASA Langley Research Center
[email protected]