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Air Safety Investigating Series 1815

Air Safety Investigating Series, 1815

Individual Occupational Requirements

Minimum Eligibility Requirements:

Minimum eligibility requirements for these positions are based on possession of the appropriate Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) pilot certificates and/or appropriate military ratings, meeting the applicable flight hour requirements, meeting the appropriate education and/or experience requirements, and possession of the knowledge and skills required for the position.

Certificates and Ratings:

For all grades and specializations, applicants must possess a Commercial Pilot Certificate with instrument rating, the appropriate military rating, or other certificate that meets or exceeds the requirements of the Commercial Pilot Certificate, e.g., an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate.

Minimum Flight Hour Requirements for All Applicants:

  1. Total Flight Time -- Flight time as pilot-in-command in aircraft of any weight or category is creditable for this requirement. Each 2 hours acquired as a copilot, an FAA certificated flight engineer on a commercial air carrier, or a military flight officer on a military air carrier may be substituted for 1 hour of flight time in meeting the minimum total flight time requirements.
  2. Pilot-in-Command -- Only flight hours acquired as pilot-in-command are creditable.
CategoryFlight Hours
GS-5/7GS-9GS-11 and above
1. Total Flight Time 500 1000 1500
2. Pilot-In-Command 100 500 1000

The following flight hour requirements apply only when the position requires the particular specialty:

  1. Multi-engine Airplane: heavy multi-engine airplanes, i.e., gross takeoff weight in excess of 12,500 pounds. Up to 250 hours flying time acquired in helicopters may be substituted.
  2. Helicopter: Up to 200 hours flying time acquired in heavy multi-engine airplanes may be substituted.
  3. Small Airplane: Airplane weighing 12,500 pounds or less gross takeoff weight.

GS-5/7GS-9GS-11 and above

CategoryFlight Hours
3. Multi-engine Airplane none 100 500
4. Helicopter none 100 200
5. Small Airplane 150 250 500

For inservice placement actions, flight hours may be waived for candidates who demonstrate that they have the knowledge and skills needed to perform the duties of the position.

Other Requirements:

  1. Valid State driver's license;
  2. Fluency in the English language;
  3. No chemical dependencies or drug abuse that could interfere with job performance; and
  4. High school graduate or equivalent.

Education And Experience Requirements

In addition to the minimum eligibility requirements stated above, the following table shows the amounts of education and/or experience required to qualify for positions covered by this standard.

GS-5 4-year course of study above high school leading to a bachelor's degree 1 year equivalent to at least GS-4
GS-7 1 full academic year of graduate education or superior academic achievement 1 year equivalent to at least GS-5
GS-9 None 1 year equivalent to at least GS-7
GS-11 None 1 year equivalent to at least GS-9
GS-12 and above None 1 year equivalent to at least next lower grade level

Equivalent combinations of education and experience are qualifying for grade levels for which both education and experience are acceptable.


Undergraduate Education: Major study -- aviation, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, safety, human factors, or other fields related to the position.

Graduate Education: Major study - fields related to aviation science, engineering, or aviation safety.

Education is not creditable for positions above the GS-7 level.



Specialized Experience for GS-5/7 Positions: Experience that demonstrated a broad knowledge of one or more of the following: aircraft design, manufacture and maintenance operations, operational requirements, facilities, practices, and procedures related to aviation activities. Such experience may have been gained in work such as:

  • Pilot for a scheduled or nonscheduled air carrier, air taxi, charter, commercial or executive operator using helicopters or multi-engine aircraft.
  • Operations officer, engineering officer, flying safety officer, or pilot-in-command with a military or similar flight unit.
  • Ground or flight instructor or flight tester of airmen or aircraft, aerial applicator, or aerial photographer.
  • Aviation experience that included active participation in aircraft design, manufacturing, or maintenance that provided the applicant with a comprehensive knowledge of aeronautical design and/or maintenance methods, procedures, and techniques.

Specialized Experience for Positions above GS-7: Experience that demonstrated a knowledge of basic aviation accident investigation practices, procedures, and techniques. Such experience may have been gained in work such as:

  • Aircraft or accident investigator, or flight safety officer for a public or private agency recognized by the National Transportation Safety Board that conducts on-scene aviation accident investigations.
  • Test pilot engaged in experimental-type aircraft testing.
  • Supervisor of flight operations or supervisor of aircraft maintenance with an FAA certified flying school or FAA certificated aircraft overhaul facility.
  • FAA Designated Pilot Examiner or Instrument Rating Examiner.
  • FAA Designated Maintenance Examiner (Inspection Authorization).
  • FAA Designated Airframe and Powerplants Examiner.
  • Supervisor of flight instruction in a military flight school, or a civilian flight school under military contract to provide flight training.
  • Chief Pilot, or supervisor of flight operations or aircraft maintenance with a corporation or scheduled commercial operator operating two or more multi-engine aircraft.

Medical Requirements

Applicants for all positions must possess a current first or second class medical certificate in accordance with FAA regulations. Both meet the intent of the requirement.


Before appointment, candidates are required to appear for an interview. The purpose of the interview is to determine whether candidates possess the personal characteristics necessary to perform the duties of aviation safety investigator positions successfully. Candidates will be questioned about information on their applications during the interview, and will be required to show appropriate certificates and log books.

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