UAV Pilot

Posted Date 1 month ago(10/30/2023 12:14 PM)
Job ID
# of Openings
Job Locations
US-CA-San Diego | US-FL-Hollywood | US-NV-Las Vegas
Regular Full-Time


Aerial survey technician using UAS for aerial LiDAR and photogrammetry, with occasional photography, video, thermal and multispectral work. Also has occasional ground survey tasks such as setting and shooting in control with a base station and rover and potential for terrestrial lidar scanning work. The job is around 70% travel, many projects are in San Diego County/southern California or within 1 day drive meaning up to 12 hours driving. Frequent airline travel to any of the 50 states including Hawaii and Alaska. Able to handle flying to the east coast and then being ready to work the next day. Workdays are typically 10-12 hours, can sometimes go longer especially on long distance travel days.


Often working alone or with 2-person crew. Sometimes coordinating with other crews on same project. Work in a wide variety of environments, sometimes very remote while solo. Frequently operate in urban, suburban, rural, agricultural fields, coastal, deserts, mountains, forest environments. Usually flying automated at 400ft AGL, however some work is low altitude or very close proximity with elevated risks associated, such as powerline inspections, or photographing building facades. The role requires a combination of technical savvy, logistics and thinking ahead, trying to solve as many unknowns as you can ahead of time, but being ready to adapt and overcome issues in the field that could not be mitigated ahead of time. Able to comfortably handle a wide variety of interactions from the public.


NV5 is a provider of engineering and consulting services to public and private sector clients, delivering solutions through six business verticals: Testing, Inspection & Consulting; Infrastructure; Utility Services; Environmental Health Sciences; Buildings & Program Management; and Geospatial Technology. With offices nationwide and abroad, NV5 helps clients plan, design, build, test, certify, and operate projects that improve the communities where we live and work.

As engineers, architects, construction/program managers, environmental professionals and beyond, we play a significant role in shaping our communities through the services we provide. We are looking for passionate, driven individuals to join our team focused on Delivering Solutions and Improving Lives.


Expectations and Tasks involved with this role:

Key Words: Safety, Honesty, Professionalism, Reliability, and following through on Commitments

  • Always wear appropriate PPE in the field, sometimes this is client defined. This usually consists of long pants, boots, vest, hardhat, and protective eyewear.
  • Be ready to take care of yourself in the field for all day operations, food, water, sunscreen etc.
  • Routinely come in rested and ready to work and able to pass the FAA IMSAFE checklist.


  • FAA Part 107 Certificate Holder with currency.
  • Able to fly multirotor in Mode 2 (standard controller stick configuration) and can effectively land a multirotor with no GPS.
  • Always actively monitoring the UAS in the air even while automated, checking telemetry frequently for battery status, aircraft status, noting aircraft behavior in winds, performance in low air density environments, etc.
  • Flying large, up to 54.99lbs, multirotor drones with high-value equipment onboard.
  • Using UgCS as the primary software to plan and execute automated mapping flights.
  • Using UgCS and Google Earth to determine good launch locations for access and estimating Line of Sight (LOS) to the UAS.
  • Mostly fly lidar and orthophotography mapping projects, some photo/ video/thermal/multispectral.
  • Planning lidar and orthophoto missions based on project requirements and determining the appropriate frontlap, sidelap, altitude, speed, settings etc.
  • Program LiDAR and camera settings as needed for the project at hand.
  • Proficient in flying CUBE Ardupilot and DJI multirotor aircraft, some fixed wing Sensefly eBee, and multirotor Skydio and Autel aircraft as well.
  • Take good care of all equipment, careful packing/unpacking, keep gear organized, protect gear from shifting during transport.
  • Proper handling, storage, charging and discharging of lithium polymer batteries.
  • Mitigating risky situations and preparing for potential in-air emergencies ahead of time. Such as high gusting winds, potential rain, making judgment calls on an early RTH/RTL, in-air low voltage batteries, aircraft anomalies, etc.
  • Troubleshooting hardware and software and determining faults. Then communicating the fault, fixing and/or mitigating the issue(s).
  • Inspecting aircraft, performing minor maintenance such as replacing propellers, cleaning out drones with an air compressor, software updates etc.
  • Checking photo and lidar data using established procedures to vet for data coverage and quality.


Ground Survey Tasks

  • Locating and using existing control set by a different ground survey team to set a base station for aerial data collection.
  • Occasional setting of ground control panels/points.
  • Occasional shooting in control with survey gear such as base station and rover using local radio RTK or a cellphone network-based correction system.
  • Terrestrial lidar scanning on a tripod.

Administrative and Recordkeeping Tasks

  • Using Microsoft products such as Office Apps, Outlook, Teams, and Windows.
  • Keep an organized, thorough, and legible digital record of travel/expense receipts.
  • Take good relevant notes of work done and pass along as needed to co-workers.
  • Organize data for hand off to processors along with relevant notes.
  • Ground and air shipping equipment, including hazmat (lithium battery) shipping procedures.
  • Logging hours to appropriate projects and monitoring time spent against the project’s budget.


Physical Tasks:

  • Good vision (corrected is ok).


  • Part 107 Certified
  • High School Diploma. (some college preferred)


  • Valid driver's license
  • Part 107


The pay range for this California position is $25- $38 per hour; however, base pay offered may be higher or lower depending on job-related knowledge, skills, and experience of the candidate. Restricted stock units may be provided as part of the compensation package, in addition to a full range of medical, financial, and/or other benefits, dependent on the position offered. This information is provided per California Senate Bill 1162. Base pay information is based on market location. Applicants should apply via the NV5 careers site.


NV5 offers a competitive compensation and benefits package including medical, dental, life insurance, PTO, 401(k) and professional development/advancement opportunities.


NV5 provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. NV5 complies with applicable state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.


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