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Northrop Grumman Sr Principal UAV Pilot in Palmdale, California

Climb to new heights on your journey when you start Defining Possible with Northrop Grumman. Enjoy a purposeful career in aeronautics that is crucial to the way we connect and protect our world across land, sea, and air. Bring your experience and take advantage of this opportunity to discover how you can start to push past possible and achieve your goals today. Enjoy a diverse, collaborative environment with professionals across the nation ready to help launch your career.

Northrop Grumman Aeronautics Systems (NGAS) has an exciting career opportunity for a Sr. Principal UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) Pilot to join our team of qualified, diverse individuals. This position will be located at our facility in Palmdale, CA.

Position Overview:

The Sr. Principal UAV Pilot will support the Triton program for developmental test and production acceptance flights for the MQ-4C. Remotely pilots UAV to determine compliance with specifications and operational suitability during engineering tests and flights tests/demonstrations support through specifically prescribed tests and maneuvers.

Essential Duties:

  • Defines, plans, organizes and executes complex flight programs and test events in accordance with military, FAA and ICAO procedures.

  • Conducts briefings, debriefings, and coordinates with maintenance personnel to analyze and correct vehicle discrepancies.

  • Conduct ground and flight demonstrations for customers, government officials and other personnel to exhibit vehicle performance, flying qualities and system capabilities.

The selected candidate should thrive in a fast-paced work environment with high expectations, significantly diverse assignments, collaborative/team settings across all levels. Selected candidate must successfully complete MQ-4C UAV training and qualification program and receive Government Flight Representative (GFR) certification as a basis for continued employment.


Basic Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's Degree and 9 years of experience OR a Master's Degree and 7 years of experience OR a PhD Degree and 4 years of experience.

  • Flight Crew Member experience / Unmanned Aircraft Systems Pilot (UASP) or Air Vehicle Operator (AVO) or Remote Pilot (RP).

  • A minimum of 500 total Pilot in Command hours (includes manned, unmanned, fixed, and rotary wing).

  • Current FAA commercial instrument rated pilot (or military equivalent) certificate.

  • Current FAA Class II Medical Certificate.

  • Ability to work flexible hours and with occasional offsite travel as required.

  • A current active in-scope U.S. Government DoD issued Secret security clearance or higher is required to start, with the ability to obtain and maintain Special Program Access (PAR/SAP).

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Graduate of a Test Pilot School or attendance at a UAS short course.

  • Current Global Hawk qualified

  • Aviation instructor, Flight test or military flight experience highly desirable.

  • Current active in-scope U.S. Government DoD Top Secret / SSBI Security Clearance.

Northrop Grumman is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. We are proud to be an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer, making decisions without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, or any other protected class. For our complete EEO/AA and Pay Transparency statement, please visit U.S. Citizenship is required for most positions.

Job Category : Flight Operations