Forest Service Helicopter Inspector Pilot in Missoula, Montana

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This position is located in Region 1, at the Aerial Fire Depot, Missoula Airport, as part of the Fire and Aviation Management Regional Office Staff, in Missoula, Montana. The incumbent serves as principle assistant to the Regional Aviation Manager, performing duties as Regional Helicopter Inspector Pilot (HIP).

For additional information about the duties of this position, please contact Phillip Ketel at 406-329-4903 or email at

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Serves as the Regional Helicopter Inspector Pilot with responsibility for administering pilot evaluations in rotary-wing aircraft. Pilot evaluations are administered for the purpose of determining an individual’s suitability to perform special use missions typical of natural resource operations. Incumbent provides evaluation and technical oversight of pilots, aircraft and equipment used in agency missions and serves as an aircraft pilot in command. Additionally, this position provides technical aviation direction to extremely complex elements of the regions aviation program. This includes liaison with the Army and National Guard, liaison with the commercial helicopter industry, support for, and cooperation with, state and federal land management agencies and other related organizations.

Maintains a program of recurring visits involving personal contacts with USDA Forest Service and Interagency personnel supervising operations and aviation operators providing contractual services. Evaluates safety of operations, training practices, suitability of aircraft, efficiency with which equipment is used, mechanical condition of equipment used, aircrew proficiency, adequacy of communications, development of equipment and standards for aircraft operations, and maintenance of flight logs and other administrative standards. Evaluates qualifications of employees responsible for management and technical supervision of aircraft operations, adequacy of management's control of aircraft operations, Government/operator working relationships, and level of user-USDA Forest Service and Interagency satisfaction with services provided by USDA Forest Service.

Provides expert technical advice to the regional and national helicopter programs as a principle advisor in the development and implementation of policies, programs and standard practices for helicopter operations and specialized projects, including policy objectives and work priorities. Serves as pilot-in-command (PIC) of rotorcraft for the purpose of conducting missions to include point-to-point transportation of personnel and cargo, utilization of special use skills such as fire suppression, retardant delivery, external load / longline vertical reference, rappel operations, aerial ignition, search and rescue, air tactical missions and precision high and low level reconnaissance activities associated with a wide variety of natural resource missions.

Performs wildfire suppression support as directed within training and physical capabilities and other duties as assigned.

Travel Required

25% or less - Travel may be required each month for trainings, meetings, and emergencies. Travel requirements may increase for emergency travel throughout the year.

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential


  • #### Job family (Series)

2181 Aircraft Operation

  • Requirements


Conditions of Employment
  • You must be a US Citizen or US National.
  • Must be 18 years of age.
  • Subject to satisfactory completion of one year probationary/trial period.
  • Initial appointment is subject to satisfactory completion of training.
  • Minimum of 90 days of wildland firefighting experience is required.

DRUG TESTING: This is a Testing Designated Position (TDP). Selectee must submit to a urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment and random testing thereafter. Final appointment and continued employment is conditional on negative results for illegal drug use.


You must possess the Basic Requirements identified below to be considered eligible for this position. Your application and resume must clearly show that you possess the appropriate experience requirements.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Qualifying experience for the GS-13 grade level includes:

(1) Minimum of 1,500 Pilot-In-Command helicopter flight hours; (2) Minimum of 100 helicopter flight hours in the preceding 12 months; (3) Minimum of 10 helicopter flight hours in the last 60 days; (4) Minimum of 75 helicopter flight hours in night flight operations; (5) Minimum of 200 helicopter flight hours in mountain flying as identified in 14 CFR 95, Subpart B - Designated Mountainous Area; (6) Minimum of either 100 flight hours in Turbine helicopter operations -OR- 200 flight hours in Piston helicopter operations.

Certificates and Ratings:

You must possess a current and valid FAA Commercial Pilot Certificate with Rotorcraft-Helicopter rating -OR- an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate with Rotorcraft-Helicopter rating.

  • AND-

You must possess a current and vaild FAA Flight Instructor Certificate with Rotorcraft-Helicopter rating.

  • AND-

Medical Requirements:

You must possess a current and valid FAA First or Second Class Medical Certificate.

*SELECTIVE PLACEMENT FACTOR: *A minimum 90 days on-the-line (Rigorous) wildland firefighting experience gained through containment, control, suppression, or use of wildland fire as a member of an organized fire suppression crew or comparable unit that utilized knowledge of wildland fire suppression techniques and practices under various conditions -OR- Pilot with aerial wildland fire experience, such as: delivery of fire retardants or suppressants via fixed or rotor wing aircraft; aerial ignition (helitorch or Plastic Sphere Dispenser - PSD), smokejumper operations, helitack or aerial supervision operations (Air Tactical, Aerial Supervision Module - ASM, Helicopter Coordinator - HLCO). This experience must be documented with specific dates in the online application or resume and in the free-text box located in the Questionnaire including reference names and current phone numbers for verification.

In order to be considered for this position, copies of your Pilot/Flight Instructor Certificates (front and back), First or Second-Class Medical Certificate, along with complete and legible flight logs or equivalent documentation, MUST be attached to your application. Failure to provide this documentation will result in disqualification.

To receive consideration for this position, you must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.


There is no substitution of education for specialized experience.

Additional information

The USDA Forest Service has legislative authority to recruit and fill Permanent (Career/Career-Conditional), Temporary, and Term Appointments under the USDA Demonstration Project. Under this authority, any U.S. citizen may apply.

We may select from this announcement or any other source to fill one or more vacancies.

This is not a bargaining unit designated position.

FIREFIGHTER RETIREMENT COVERAGE: This is a secondary firefighter position under 5 USC 8336(c) (CSRS) and 8412(d) (FERS). At least 90 days of wildland firefighting experience is required. There is no age limit for entry into secondary positions. Firefighter retirement coverage of the incumbent depends upon his or her individual work history.

BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION AND FINGERPRINT CHECK: Selection and retention in this position is contingent on a successfully adjudicated FBI National Criminal History Check (fingerprint check) and a background investigation.

Direct Deposit – Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of your choice.

If you are newly hired, the documentation you present for purposes of completing the Department Homeland Security (DHS) Form I-9 on your entry-on-duty date will be verified through the DHS "E-VERIFY" system. Federal law requires the use of E-VERIFY to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires. Under this system, the new hire is required to resolve any identified discrepancies as a condition of continued employment.

This position is eligible only for situational telework.

Forest Service daycare facilities are not available.

Government housing is not available.

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How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

You will be evaluated in accordance with the category rating procedure as defined in the USDA Demonstration Project Plan. Applicants who meet the basic minimum qualification requirements established for the position will be placed in the Eligible category. Eligible applicants will be further evaluated against criteria for placement in the Quality category. This evaluation is based on the level of your experience, education, and/or training as determined by your responses to the Assessment Questionnaire. Applicants with veterans' preference are listed ahead of applicants who do not have veterans' preference within each category.

Note: If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your rating may be lowered to more accurately reflect the submitted documentation. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Providing inaccurate information on Federal documents could be grounds for non-selection or disciplinary action up to including removal from the Federal service.

Clicking the link below will present a preview of the application form; i.e. the online questionnaire. The application form link below will only provide a preview and does not initiate the application process. To initiate the online application process, click the "Apply" button to the right.

To view the application form, visit:;=987F75EB-5349-4424-A373-A988011AD5B5

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Background checks and security clearance
Security clearance


Drug test required


  • Required Documents


Required Documents

The following documents are required for your applicant package to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in the mail service, your system failure, etc. Encrypted documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.

  • Resume that includes: 1) personal information such as name, address, contact information; 2) education; 3) detailed work experience related to this position as described in the major duties including work schedule, hours worked per week, dates of employment; title, series, grade (if applicable); 4) supervisor's phone number and whether or not the supervisor may be contacted for a reference check; 5) other qualifications.
  • If education is required or you are using education to qualify, you must submit a copy of your college transcripts. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application; however, if you are selected, you will be required to submit official transcripts prior to entering on duty. Education must have been successfully obtained from an accredited school, college or university. If any education was completed at a foreign institute, you must submit with your application evidence that the institute was appropriately accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as equivalent to U.S. education standards. There are private organizations that specialize in this evaluation and a fee is normally associated with this service. All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
  • If claiming veteran's preference, you must submit a DD214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty, which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions. If currently on active duty you must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty service under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted. Veteran's preference must be verified prior to appointment. Without this documentation, you will not receive veteran's preference and your application will be evaluated based on the material(s) submitted.
  • If claiming 10-point veteran's preference you must provide the DD214 or certification requirements (see above bullet), plus the proof of entitlement of this preference as listed on the SF-15 Application for 10-point Veterans' Preference. The SF-15 should be included but is not required. Failure to submit these documents could result in the determination that there is insufficient documentation to support your claim for 10-point preference.
  • Surplus or displaced employees eligible for CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP priority must provide: proof of eligibility (RIF separation notice, notice of proposed removal for declining a transfer of function or directed reassignment to another commuting area, notice of disability annuity termination), SF-50 documenting separation (as applicable), and your most recent SF-50 noting position, grade level, and duty location with your application per 5 CFR 330.
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

  • Benefits



A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.

Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

  • How to Apply


How to Apply

Please read the entire announcement and all instructions before you begin. You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.

Applying online is highly encouraged. We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00a.m. - 4:00p.m., Monday - Friday). If applying online poses a hardship, contact the Agency Contact listed below well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages must be complete and submitted no later than noon ET on the closing date of the announcement in order to be entered into the system prior to its closing.

This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis; contact the Agency Contact to request this.

To begin, click "Apply Online" and follow the instructions to complete the Assessment Questionnaire and attach your resume and all required documents.

NOTE: You must verify that uploaded documents from USAJOBS transfer into the Agency's staffing system. Applicants may combine all like required documents (e.g., all SF-50s) into one or more files and scan for uploading into the application. Each file must not exceed 3MB. Grouping like documents into files will simplify the application process. Documents must be in one of the following formats: GIF, JPEG, JPG, PDF, PNG, RTF, or Word (DOC or DOCX). Uploaded documents may not require a password, digital signature, or other encryption to open.

Please view Tips for Applicants– a guide to the Forest Service application process.

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Agency contact information
HRM Contact Center

877-372-7248, option 2







USDA Forest Service Do not mail in applications, see instructions under the How to Apply tab. Albuquerque, NM, 87109 United States

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Next steps

Your application will be reviewed to verify that you meet the eligibility and qualification requirements for the position prior to issuing referral lists to the selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. Log in to your USAJOBS account to check your application status. We expect to make a final job offer approximately 40 days after the deadline for applications.

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  • Fair & Transparent
Fair & Transparent

The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

  • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) for federal employees & job applicants

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Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:

  • An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.

You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Learn more about disability employment and reasonable accommodations or how to contact an agency.

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Legal and regulatory guidance
  • Financial suitability
  • Social security number request
  • Privacy Act
  • Signature and false statements
  • Selective Service
  • New employee probationary period

This job originated on For the full announcement and to apply, visit Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at will be considered.

Open & closing dates: 11/08/2018 to 11/23/2018

Service: Competitive

Pay scale & grade: GS 13

Salary: $87,252 to $87,252 per year

Appointment type: Permanent

Work schedule: Full-Time