Zephyr HAPS Flight Operator II

Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc offers advanced solutions to meet the most complex U.S. defense, security, space, and intelligence requirements. Celebrating over 50 years in the US, we remain a trusted government partner, leveraging world-class satellite, laser communication, rotor and fixed wing solutions to help our national security, defense and space focused customers meet their missions.

Airbus U.S. looks to employ a commitment driven team, dedicated to enabling our customer’s mission success. We are committed to maintaining a diverse and inclusive work environment and a welcoming and engaging staff. With competitive compensation and superior employee benefits, as well as a commitment to fostering individual career growth, Airbus U.S. is the place where top talent wants to work.

AIRBUS requires that all new employees and temporary workers of Airbus be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Airbus allows candidates who are not fully vaccinated at the time of hire a reasonable amount of time to obtain vaccinated status. This position requires vaccination

Position Summary:

AIRBUS U.S. Space & Defense is currently seeking a Zephyr HAPS Pilot in Huntsville, AL. As a member of the Zephyr HAPS flight operations team, you will be responsible for safe operation of the Zephyr UAS in all phases of flight from ground launch, climb, stratospheric cruise, descent and landing. You will undergo an intensive training program that will enhance your previous aviation knowledge and experience to become an effective Zephyr pilot. Level 2 Operations team members also perform higher-level responsibilities including advanced mission planning, flight test, crew instruction/standardization/evaluation, and launch/recovery duties.

Primary Responsibilities:

Zephyr Operations: 50%

  • Lead Zephyr HAPS crew operations as Remote Pilot in Command (RPIC) in accordance with approved practices and local/national/international airspace rules, procedures, and standards
  • Coordinate with various parties associated with Zephyr UAS flight, flight test, pre- and post-flight operations, including civil and military aviation authorities
  • Lead flight and mission planning efforts
  • Lead crew and meteorological support functions as necessary
  • Travel to international locations, possibly on short notice, to perform flight operations duties
  • Have an expert level understanding of US FAA regulations for UAS
  • Perform other related duties as assigned

Zephyr Operations Departmental: 30%

  • Obtain Zephyr Instructor Operator certification and:
    • Perform as a Zephyr Operations Crew trainer, and/or
    • Perform as a Zephyr Standardization/Evaluation operator, and/or
    • Perform as a Zephyr Launch/Recovery site crewmember, and/or
    • Perform as a Zephyr Test Operator

Additional Responsibilities:

Other duties as assigned by the Chief Pilot: 20%

Qualified Experience / Skills / Training:


  • Bachelor’s degree or combination of education and demonstrated related experience.


  • 7+ years of manned flight experience, extensive UAS experience, or related operations experience in the aerospace, space, or unmanned aerial vehicle industry


  • FAA Part 61 Pilot license, and/or military pilot certification. CFI/Instructor level qualification preferred.
  • FAA Part 107 UAS Operator license.
  • FAA second- or third-class medical certificate.

Knowledge, Skills, Demonstrated Capabilities:

  • Capable of working as part of a multidisciplinary team and/or working without supervision.
  • Possess superior time management, organizational and communication skills.
  • Good interpersonal skills with the ability to interface cooperatively with personnel and customers
  • Prior operations experience: Aircraft, Satellite or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV).
  • Demonstrable ability to operate a complex system and perform troubleshooting practices under time constraints.
  • Demonstrate a methodical approach with good attention to detail.
  • Capable of following flight procedures operations practices.
  • Ability to build and maintain strategic relationships with key partners and customers
  • Ability to work in a team and demonstrate good interpersonal skills
  • Capable of performing tasks that require, bending, sitting, standing, crouching, kneeling, and lifting
  • Able to perform tasks while climbing up and down ladders and work platforms

Communication Skills (Spoken, Written, Influencing, Proficiency in Other Languages):

  • You must have excellent analytical, interpersonal, verbal and written communications skills to be able to work with stakeholders at all levels, both military and civilian.

Technical Systems Proficiency:

  • MS Office Suite
  • This role requires knowledge of aircraft operations, unmanned aerial systems, stratospheric and/or spacecraft equipment, and US and international aviation rules and standards. This means experience in working with high value hardware, working in accordance with written procedures and expertise in working with systems which are operated from a remote ground terminal.

Travel Required:

  • Up to 50% Domestic and International
  • Must be a resident of North Alabama area or willing to Relocate to Huntsville, AL area


  • US citizenship is required


  • Ability to obtain and maintain a U.S. Government security clearance required
  • Active security clearance (preferred).

Decision Making, Complexity:

  • A high degree of independent decision-making working directly with customers and taking on responsibility for the critical path component of a contract.
  • Cultural awareness: this team works with many US and international teams driving to success.

Equal Opportunity: Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. is also committed to compliance with all fair employment practices regarding citizenship and immigration status.

As a leader in our field, Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. provides relocation assistance for qualified positions and a comprehensive compensation and benefits package.

As a matter of policy, Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. does not sponsor visas for US positions unless specified. Only applicants with current work authorization will be considered.

Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. does not offer tenured or guaranteed employment. Employment with Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. is at will, meaning either the company or the employee can terminate the employment relationship at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice.

Improper interference with the ability of Airbus’ employees to perform their job duties may result in discipline up to and including discharge.

As a matter of policy, Airbus does not sponsor visas for US positions unless specified. Only applicants with current work authorization will be considered.

Airbus does not offer tenured or guaranteed employment. Either the company or the employee can terminate the employment relationship at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice.

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