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Head of Flight Testing



Esparto, CA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2023

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

As Zipline’s head of flight testing, you’ll be taking on an established organization and looking ahead to bring it to the next level. You’ll interface across the company with engineering, manufacturing, regulatory, global operations, US operations and sales to provide a service to all stakeholders in the company. You’ll also set the stage for testing of future technologies across various locations and conditions.

What You'll Do

  • Oversee a team of test operators and maintainers in the execution of software and hardware testing, operational improvement, regulatory certification and special projects such as weather envelope expansion testing
  • Manage operations and resource allocations at our primary test site in northern, CA (outside of Davis), and also at satellite locations and test execution at production sites
  • Prepare, strategize, and grow the team for expanded testing capacity and capabilities in new geographies, new technologies and new test cases while maintaining current capabilities.
  • Ensure consistent test readiness and forecast blockers to enable testing up-time
  • Act as a stakeholder in signing off a release for live operations
  • Provide strategic and tactical thought partnership to engineering for test execution
  • Coordinate with the regulatory team for certification and waiver efforts
  • Foster a safety culture and ensure compliance with all procedures and regulations
  • Oversee financial spend of test sites
  • Ensure site upkeep and maintain landlord relationships
  • Plan and coordinate logistics support for flight operations team
  • Host demos and internal training days as needed
  • Manage various contractors and suppliers

What You'll Bring

  • Demonstrated experience in scaled test operations in the field for hardware and software and certification
  • Demonstrated experience managing a distributed team
  • Experience in Part107 operations and achieving waivers
  • Experience managing a team to successfully plan, coordinate, and conduct test operations, and
  • Proven success motivating a team in austere conditions
  • Ability to manage risk and independently create go/no go procedures
  • Part107 license (or achieved by start date).
  • Must be willing to work some nights/weekends.
  • Must be a US citizen or Permanent Resident.
  • Must be able to (1) relocate to Yolo County, CA, (2) be willing and able to do travel occasionally.
  • Ability to lift 25+ lbs

What Else You Need to Know

The starting cash range for this role is $90,000 - 130,000. Please note that this is a target, starting cash range for a candidate who meets the minimum qualifications for this role. The final cash pay for this role will depend on a variety of factors, including a specific candidate's experience, qualifications, skills, working location, and projected impact. The total compensation package for this role may also include: equity compensation; discretionary annual or performance bonuses; sales incentives; benefits such as medical, dental and vision insurance; paid time off; and more.

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!