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Flight Test Operator (Contractor)

Zipline

Zipline

Half Moon Bay, CA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, February 7, 2024

About Zipline

Do you want to change the world? Zipline is on a mission to transform the way goods move. Our aim is to solve the world’s most urgent and complex access challenges by building, manufacturing and operating the first instant delivery and logistics system that serves all humans equally, wherever they are. From powering Rwanda’s national blood delivery network and Ghana’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution, to providing on-demand home delivery for Walmart, to enabling healthcare providers to bring care directly to U.S. homes, we are transforming the way things move for businesses, governments and consumers. The technology is complex but the idea is simple: a teleportation service that delivers what you need, when you need it. Through our technology that includes robotics and autonomy, we are decarbonizing delivery, decreasing road congestion, and reducing fossil fuel consumption and air pollution, while providing equitable access to billions of people and building a more resilient global supply chain.
Join Zipline and help us to make good on our promise to build an equitable and more resilient global supply chain for billions of people.

About You and The Role

Do you have excellent drone piloting skills, enjoy debugging drone hardware and software, and thrive on a collaborative, fast-paced team? If you’re committed to our mission of making access to life saving medical supplies a reality and welcome the challenge of flying newly developed drones, read on!

As designs evolve, it’s critical that concepts are tested early and thoroughly to ensure our system architecture decisions are actually going to work in the field. On the System Test and Integration team, you will own flight operations of early stage aircraft, from custom prototypes through the bring-up of new production builds. This could involve manual R/C piloting, ground based checkouts for airworthiness, or leveraging Zipline’s automated flight systems. Each day brings new opportunities to test and learn about our technology, so you can help Zipline advance the systems that our customers’ lives depend on. Successful flight test operators for this team have strong aviation knowledge, top-notch maker skills and the interpersonal skills to coordinate activities across many teams.

What You'll Do

  • Independently own all aspects of flight operations, looping in engineering support as needed to make quick progress:
    • Troubleshoot, maintain and upgrade electromechanical aircraft systems
    • Validate aircraft ahead of flight through a series of ground-based tests
    • Develop and maintain preflight checklists and other operational procedures
    • Execute flight tests across a variety of aircraft
  • Manage safety in a bustling test facility to mitigate risk from prototype flights
  • Document your processes from inspections to flight tests
  • Send out regular status updates to the team on challenges, failures and wins
  • Align with engineering on the best course of action to achieve flight test goals on time
  • Lean into the chaos, request support as needed, and dynamically prioritize projects as flight conditions change

What You'll Bring

Must have technical skills

  • FAA Part 107 Certification
  • Strong aeronautical decision making skills and familiarity with flight controller functions
  • 2+ years experience manually piloting quadcopter drones, professionally or independently
  • 2+ years experience with electromechanical build and troubleshooting projects (including hobbyist drone or maker projects)
  • Great communication, documentation and organization skills
  • Experience managing multiple competing projects with limited resources
  • Initiative to tackle any challenge that comes your way
  • Interpersonal skills to leverage the strengths of a cross-disciplinary team

Nice to have technical skills

  • Hands-on experience working in a Linux command line environment
  • Ability to create rapid prototypes (3d printing, laser cutting, etc.)

What Else You Need to Know

Zipline is an equal opportunity employer and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion or religious creed, mental or physical disability, medical condition, genetic information, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, military or veteran status, citizenship, or other characteristics protected by state, federal or local law or our other policies.
We value diversity at Zipline and welcome applications from those who are traditionally underrepresented in tech. If you like the sound of this position but are not sure if you are the perfect fit, please apply!