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.
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. Plans, prepares, conducts and/or maintains UAS flights for Group 2 (20 lbs. – 55 lbs.), Group 3 (56 pounds – 1,320 lbs.) and Group 4 (> 1,320 lbs.) UAS in support of MSU/RFRL research goals and activities.
2. Informs key decisions to assess the flight readiness for unmanned aircraft systems valued at up to $2 million.
3. Supports compliance with applicable FAA guidance and regulations.
4. Supports the preparation and filing of appropriate FAA applications and supporting documents, including Certificates of Waiver or Authorization and Statements of Airworthiness.
5. Helps develop, and acts in compliance with MSU flight operations and/or maintenance guidance including operating procedures, checklists, technical orders, OEM guidance and reporting requirements for Group 2/3/4 UAS.
6. Collects, records and reports UAS/aviation flight data and maintains flight records IAW FAA and MSU guidance.
7. Collects data on UAS/aviation flight operations in support of research activities.
8. Helps develop and execute flight test plans to support MSU/RFRL research objectives.
9. Supports inventories and manages facilities and equipment IAW university policies.
10. Performs essential inspection/troubleshooting/repair as required.
11. Ensures compliance with the aviation safety program and the conduct of incident/accident investigations.
12. Performs related duties as assigned.
B. S. Business Administration, Management, Engineering or other technical field.
Two years of experience as a professional pilot or maintainer of manned or unmanned aircraft with a GTOW > 55 lbs.
Monitors the work of junior staff to ensure that correct procedures are followed. Provides direction to assure completion of technical tasks and projects.
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:
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:
Apply online via MSU Job portal system.
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.