Flight Operations Technician II

Apply now Job no: 500717
Position type: Full-Time 12-Month
Department: 194000 - Raspet
Location: Main Campus - Starkville, MS
Categories: Professional
Position Open Date:

Position Function:

This is the intermediate level-developing/maturing professional. Incumbents perform complex and rigorous processes within a defined framework to meet MSU, Federal/State Government and industry policy, rules and best practices. Independently evaluates, selects, and applies accepted aviation operations and safety techniques; assignments have clear and specified objectives, and require the investigation of a limited number of variables. Incumbent relies on limited experience and exercises judgment within a construct of defined procedures and practices.

Salary Grade:  15

Please see Staff Compensation Structure or Skilled Crafts and Service Maintenance Compensation Schedule for salary ranges.  For salary grade UC, these positions are "Unclassified" and salary ranges are determined by the hiring department.

Department Profile:

The Raspet Flight Research Laboratory (RFRL), the premier manned and unmanned aviation research facility in the nation, was established in 1948. RFRL possesses a rich heritage in full-scale aircraft research, development, testing and evaluation (RDT&E), particularly in advanced flight test. RFRL’s rich history includes dozens of aviation “firsts,” particularly in the application of cutting-edge composite structures in aviation. Today, RFRL’s focus is to perform advanced research, development, and testing of: 1) Manned and Unmanned Aircraft; 2) Automated Flight Control Systems; 3) Aircraft Sub-Structures and Components; 4) Ground and Airborne Sensor Systems, including Detect and Avoid; and 5) Ground and Maritime Robotics. MSU’s unique position as the only university that is both the FAA-designated lead for the national UAS Center of Excellence, and an FAA-designed UAS Test Site, provides unparalleled capability to conduct world-class research and comprehensive flight testing for unmanned aircraft, ground control systems, component systems, and key supporting technologies such as detect and avoid. In addition to our flight RDT&E capabilities, RFRL also offers cutting-edge composite materials design, fabrication, prototyping, and low-rate initial production through the Marvin B. Dow Stitched Composites Development Center. RFRL also regularly helps grown aviation-related companies and innovative technologies through our role as a technology incubator. Throughout our illustrious aviation history, RFRL has been dedicated to outstanding research programs, strategic alliances with industry and government, and close collaboration with academic units of the university. Raspet offers faculty, staff, students, industry, and government agencies a facility with experience and capability for composite fabrication, structural testing, UAS and component RDT&E, in-flight sensor evaluation, and flight test instrumentation and test assistance.

Area of Specialization:


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

1. Ensures Group 2 (21 lbs. – 55 lbs.) and Group 3 (56 lbs. – 1,320 lbs.) UAS are airworthy and ready for flight in support of MSU Raspet Flight Research Goals and activities.
2. Informs key decisions to assess the airworthiness and system reliability for unmanned aircraft systems valued up to $2 million.
3. Inspects, troubleshoots and repairs UAS IAW applicable FAA, manufacturer and MSU aircraft systems valued at up to $2 million.
4. Integrates, configures, tests and troubleshoots UAS payloads, performs appropriate weight/balance calculations, and approves UAS as flight ready.
5. Assesses system and component reliability and functionality to support appropriate FAA applications and supporting documents, including Certificates of Waiver or Authorization and Statements of Airworthiness.
6. Helps develop and ensures compliance with MSU UAS maintenance guidance, procedures, checklists, and reporting requirements for Group 2 and Group 3 UAS.
7. Collects, records and reports UAS maintenance data and maintains UAS inspection and repair records IAW FAA and MSU guidance.
8. Coordinates with MSU/FRL eternal research partners, contractors, and vendors to collect data on UAS reliability and maintainability in support of research activities.
9. Creates cost estimates and project budgets for MSU/RFRL flight research projects.
10. Develops, justifies, and submits purchase orders for required equipment and services in support of the MSU/RFRL UAS program.
11. Supports inventories and manages facilities and equipment IAW university policies.
12. Assists the MSU/RFRL Chief of Flight Operations and performs flight operations support duties as required.
13. Supports the MSU/RFRL Chief of Safety in ensuring compliance with the UAS Safety program and the conduct of incident/accident investigations.
14. Conducts tours, demonstrations, and presentations in support of University public relations, marketing, and business development.
15. Performs related duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

B. S. Business Administration, Management, Engineering or other technical field.

One year of experience as a professional pilot or maintainer of manned or unmanned aircraft with a GTOW > 55 lbs.

Preferred Qualifications:

At least one of the following FAA licenses: UAS Pilot, Private Pilot, Commercial Pilot, Airline Transport Pilot, Airframe & Powerplant Mechanic—requires two years at previous level or equivalent.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

1. Knows and effectively uses the fundamental concepts, practices and procedures of flight operations.
2. Continues development of technical expertise and knowledge through experience and application.
3. Ability to travel extensively for weeks at a time in field conditions to support MSU manned and unmanned flight operations at locations across the United States.
4. Demonstrated experience in the operation and/or maintenance of Group 2 (20 lbs. – 55 lbs.), Group 3 (56 pounds – 1,320 lbs.) and Group 4 (> 1,320 lbs.) UAS.
5. Knowledge of industry-leading UAS flight control systems (e.g. Piccolo, Pixhawk) configuration.
6. Knowledge of UAS flight control software.
7. Knowledge of UAS/aviation maintenance practices, procedures, regulations, technical standards/orders or other applicable guidance.
8. Knowledge of applicable FAA regulations and guidance pertaining to the operation of UAS in the national airspace system.
9. Knowledge of the FAA’s CoA application and reporting process.
10. Knowledge of the UAS/aviation industry, including key manufacturers, suppliers, service providers, and integrators.
11. Knowledge of Microsoft Office, computer networking and programs, and computer based systems.
12. Excellent verbal and written communication skills

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

Employee is required to have and maintain an FAA Class 3 or higher medical certificate.
The position may require employee to work with hazardous materials. Employee is required to
wear personal protective equipment.
Physical requirements include frequent sitting, talking, hearing, walking, and standing.
Occasionally requires reaching, climbing or balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling
handling objects with hands and lifting to 55 pounds.
Vision requirements: Ability to see information in print and/or electronically. Externally
exposed to deadlines; set and revised beyond one’s control; interruptions influence priorities;
difficult to anticipate nature or volume of work with certainty beyond a few days; meeting of
deadlines and coordination of unrelated activities are key to position; will involve conflict-
resolution or similar interactions involving emotional issues or stress on a regular basis.

Instructions for Applying:

Link to apply: 

Apply online and attach a resume and cover letter.

Restricted Clause:

Position contingent upon funding availability.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

MSU is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy, gender identity, status as a U.S. veteran, and/or any other status protected by applicable law. We always welcome nominations and applications from women, members of any minority group, and others who share our passion for building a diverse community that reflects the diversity in our student population.

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Applications close:

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