Careers at Virginia Tech

UAS Pilot and Safety Officer

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Work type: Research Faculty
Senior management: Vice President for Research
Department: ICTAS
Location: Blacksburg - Main Campus
Categories: Research / Scientific, Transportation

Job Description

The Virginia Tech Mid Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP) plays a crucial role in advancing UAS integration into the airspace and adoption by industry. We are in the unique position of leading both an FAA designated UAS Test Site and a highly productive team in the federal UAS Integration Pilot Program. Through those programs and others, we blaze new ground for advanced UAS operations on a daily basis through innovative research and testing, and we've built a track record of conducting first of their kind operations that move the industry forward. Our experienced team works closely with industry and government stakeholders to enable new applications for drones such as package delivery, damage assessment, and infrastructure inspection; through that work, we've pioneered a process for the development of risk based safety cases that is rapidly becoming an industry standard. And because we are part of Virginia Tech, all our staff enjoy the university's benefits package as well as the many advantages of living in Blacksburg, Virginia, recognized by Livability Journal as one of 2018's Top 100 Best Places to Live.

MAAP is seeking qualified applicants to serve as a Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Pilot and Safety Officer responsible for safe, effective, and efficient piloting of UAS; safety and operational management of field projects; acting as crewmember for operations utilizing UAS and conventional aircraft; and providing technical support for aeronautical research consistent with the objectives of the FAA designated UAS Test Site at Virginia Tech.

The position may receive tasking from the flight operations and engineering team leads and will report to the MAAP Flight Operations Manager. The incumbent is expected to exercise sound decision making and problem solving skills while interacting with internal and external Test Site users and partners. The incumbent should be able to independently and effectively manage UAS field operations in diverse field environments. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following: Acting in various UAS crewmember roles including Pilot in Command (PIC), Visual Observer (VO), and Aviation Safety Officer (ASO), FAA Certificate of Authorization (COA) development, management and compliance, Provide input to aeronautical research test planning, Participate in MAAP Safety Risk Management (SRM) processes, Crew certification and training support, Assist in flight operations scheduling, Perform preventative maintenance and basic modifications to MAAP UAS assets, Perform and supervise ground and flight operations in accordance with all applicable regulations, Interface with flight operations departments of Test Site users and external partners, Perform flight and logistics planning for internal and external operations, Conduct premission planning, evaluations and briefings, Complete post mission requirements, reports and logging, Contribute to MAAP safety, technical, and operations documentation, Provide expertise to contribute to initial and continued UAS airworthiness assessments

Required Qualifications

- Master's Degree in an aviation or technical related field. An exception can be made for a Bachelors Degree in a related field with significant training and experience.
- FAA Remote Pilot Certificate (Part 107)
- Experience in and knowledge of UAS operations in various environments
- Must be a U.S. citizen
- Effective communication skills

Preferred Qualifications

- FAA Private Pilot Certificate or greater
- Current FAA 2nd Class Medical Certificate
- Proficient remote pilot and/or RC flying skills
- Experience in public and civil UAS applications
- Experience in test planning, flight test, and/or conducting research


Appointment Type


Salary Information

Commensurate with experience

Review Date

June 16, 2022

Additional Information

Due to restrictions by the funding sponsor, the successful candidate must be a US Citizen.

The successful candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check.

About Virginia Tech

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges, a school of medicine, a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School, and Honors College. The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers. A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Lisa Stables at during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

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