Director of Flight Test Safety

Job Locations US-CA-Mojave
Req No.
Regular Full-Time

Who we are

The Spaceship Company (TSC) is an affiliate of Virgin Galactic as a space-system manufacturing organization. Headquartered at Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, California, it is building and testing a fleet of WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft and SpaceShipTwo reusable spaceships that, together, form Virgin Galactic’s human spaceflight system. Like many Virgin companies across the world, its team of over 400 talented and dedicated engineers, technicians and professionals are drawn together by a willingness to disrupt and challenge the status quo and deliver innovative aerospace solutions to our customers’ needs. TSC’s extensive capabilities encompass preliminary vehicle design and analysis, manufacturing, ground testing, flight testing and post-delivery support.


Our Values

TSC and the greater Virgin Organization have a relaxed and informal culture that encourages individuality and innovation.  You will be motivated, enterprising and enthusiastic.  Company culture is such that you need to be able to “check your ego at the door”, be a self-starter and possess a sense of humility.  You will work well under pressure and thrive on being given challenges and responsibility.  You will communicate clearly and be confident and persuasive. You will have a high level of integrity and understand the need of complete confidentiality.


Who You Are

Safety is the North Star for TSC and central to the success of all of our activities. TSC is looking for an experienced Chief of Flight Test Safety to lead implementation and maintenance of a Safety Management System (SMS) for ground and flight test operations. Leveraging your extensive experience you will guide and monitor our team through all stages of test operations from test definition, planning, execution and follow up. You will possess the ability to see the big picture and understand how implementing and maintaining a robust, fit for purpose SMS for test operations plays into the ultimate goals of TSC.


Your Mission


  • Establish and maintain a Safety Management System (SMS) that promotes safe and efficient test operations for Ground Test and Flight Test operations.
  • Working with program and flight test leadership, establish, implement, review and revise, and execute the Flight and Ground Test Safety programs for The Spaceship Company (TSC).
  • Interface and coordinate with the Directors of Flight Test and Ground Test to assure compliance with corporate safety initiatives and guidance.
  • Be knowledgeable of and assure compliance with customer and government safety and regulatory requirements.
  • In concert with Flight Test, Ground Test, System Safety Engineering and Environmental Safety and Health leadership, develop comprehensive risk analyses for both general and specific test operations.
  • Lead the Test Risk Management competency area.
  • Review and approve top level and individual test plans, including Test Hazard Analyses (THAs).
  • Participate in test briefings, operations oversight, and debriefings.
  • Coordinate with the Chief Pilot and Director of Flight Test to assess hazard levels and consequences and the associated impact to flight test operations.
  • Coordinate with Ground Test and Propulsion Test leadership to assure safe and efficient operations.
  • Conduct investigations, assess root cause factors and track closeout actions for test incidents / anomalies.


What you bring


  • Bachelor of Science Degree, Masters of Science Degree preferred.
  • 5+ years aviation and operations experience.
  • Significant Pilot/aircrew experience.
  • Significant flight test safety experience
  • Ground test experience.
  • Demonstrated resiliency and adaptability to an ever changing and ambiguous environment.
  • Strong time management and organizational skills, with the ability to manage multiple deadlines and priorities.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with all levels of management as well as internal and external stakeholders.
  • Applicants must be U.S. persons as defined by the ITAR (22 CFR §120.15).


Preferred Skills and Experience

  • Graduate of military or civilian Test Pilot School
  • Graduate of approved Flight Safety curriculum.
  • Implementing and/or maintaining a Safety Management System for test operations


ITAR Requirements

To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, applicant must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by ITAR (22 CFR §120.15) or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State.


The Spaceship Company is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with The Spaceship Company is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.


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