What you’ll be doing...

We’re looking for a Director of Drone Operations and Standards to join our team in Portland, Oregon. You’ll report directly to the Director of our new Aviation Development Centers and be responsible for running flight operations at our facilities nationwide. As a senior drone pilot and Director of Standards you’ll ensure that all of Skyward’s flight operations are conducted with professional aviation discipline and skill. You’ll also play a key role in helping our stakeholders expand their drone capabilities in a professional manner.

You’ll be working in an exciting startup environment within the foundation of a large company (Verizon). You will have the freedom and autonomy to do your best work with the support and camaraderie you need to enjoy your job. In this role you will be contributing to the future of connected aviation.

The ideal candidate is a current part 107 and part 61 pilot (commercially rated) with real-world commercial drone experience. The right candidate will have a critical attention to detail and the ability to solve problems without supervision. This position requires frequent travel.


1. Director of Operations: 50%

  • Manage ADC flight operations by working with the ADC director, drone flight crews, partners, and customers to ensure sufficient capability and readiness in terms of people, equipment, and airspace access is in place to meet mission requirements.
  • Oversee scheduling and logistics of people and equipment as needed to meet ADC flight requirements.
  • Meet with internal stakeholders, end-users, customers, OEM partners, and aviation regulatory agencies and assist in the development of certification and validation plans, flight test plans, safety assessments/hazard analysis, issue papers, flight test operations manuals, and other related documentation generated in support of testing & evaluation activities.

2. Senior Drone Pilot: 25%

  • Developmental and certification drone flight testing: Execute ground and flight tests that support testing and evaluation (T&E) requirements derived by Skyward and Verizon, Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) partners, end-user customers and national aviation regulatory agencies. Ensure delivery of suitable flight test data.
  • Execute ADC T&E flights and strategic project R&D flights.
  • Conduct new site evaluation and assist in flight operations set-up prior to operations.
  • Maintain pilot proficiency for operational and flight test requirements.

3. Director of Flight Standards: 25%

  • Verify and manage compliance as part of an approved FAA framework.
  • Develop, implement, and manage operational flight procedures and partner with Professional Services and Product Teams to develop and validate Skyward product offerings.
  • Conduct pilot flight proficiency assessments and manage the Skyward internal flight training program.

What we’re looking for...

You will need to have:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience
  • 10+ total years work experience with at least 3 years in onboard pilot flight operations and 3 years in remote pilot (drone) flight operations in or serving large or complex organizations (enterprise, government, or military)
  • 5+ years management experience executing all phases of flight operations from planning through post-execution analysis and overseeing associated assigned aircraft, equipment, facilities, ground crews and air crews.
  • 4+ years experience conducting independent operation of drones in demanding environments (real time risk assessment) such as near electrical infrastructure, or construction sites and in ambiguous, emerging environments.
  • Current 14 CFR Part 107 remote pilot certificate with experience requesting regulatory waivers and airspace authorizations

Minimum Flight Time Requirements

  • Total Flight Time-500 hours, Documented flight time as pilot-in-command or second-in-command (copilot) in aircraft of any type, weight or category is acceptable for this requirement
  • Drone Flight Time-50 hours or 500 flights documented flight time

Even better if you have:

  • Clear communication ability - written and oral - as well as presentation skills. The aptitude to effectively relay complex information to others.
  • A strong sense of urgency and bias to action - able to think on your feet and superior problem-solving and analytical skills.
  • Able to travel within the continental USA, internationally to a lesser extent and, periodically support nighttime operations and willingness to wear Skyward provided standard equipment.
  • Contribute to our internal culture and team camaraderie as part of a professional cadre building something incredible.
  • Experience as a maintenance test pilot, experimental test pilot, standardization pilot or similar and/or experience as a drone pilot involved in new product development
  • Familiarity with the technical and business components of cellular communications
  • Experience working within a Safety Management System framework
  • Current Part 61 Commercial Pilot Certificate
  • Knowledge of and enthusiasm about the drone industry and technology in general.

When you join Verizon...

You’ll be doing work that matters alongside other talented people, transforming the way people, businesses and things connect with each other. Beyond powering America’s fastest and most reliable network, we’re leading the way in broadband, cloud and security solutions, Internet of Things and innovating in areas such as, video entertainment. Of course, we will offer you great pay and benefits, but we’re about more than that. Verizon is a place where you can craft your own path to greatness. Whether you think in code, words, pictures or numbers, find your future at Verizon.

Equal Employment Opportunity

We're proud to be an equal opportunity employer- and celebrate our employees' differences,including race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, and Veteran status. Different makes us better.