Head of Aircraft Safety

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Introduction:  We are looking for an exceptional individual to join Vertical Aerospace as Head of Aircraft Safety. Vertical is one the world’s leading eVTOL businesses, and a pioneer of this ground-breaking new segment, which marks the beginning of sustainable aviation. The role will be located in Bristol.

Vertical recently completed a $2.2Bn SPAC with Broadstone Acquisition Corp and will imminently list on the NYSE. Further funding to see their aircraft the VA-X4 through certification and into production was secured from Mudrick Capital and Kouros SA in October 2021.

Vertical has already assembled an enviable list of conditional pre-orders from globally renowned customers such as American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Avolon adding up to 1,350 aircraft and an order value of $5.4Bn. Additionally Vertical has secured partnerships with Rolls Royce, Honeywell, Bristow and GKN, among others.


About you: We are looking for someone that will enjoy working with a world class team comprised of leading aerospace and technology thinkers as well as some of the finest engineering talent. Of course, you will possess or be able to rapidly adopt a passion for sustainable aviation and it’s benefits for both society and sustainability.

Vertical is a values-led business that embraces diversity in all its forms in particular diversity of thought. Vertical is committed to building an industry leading team offering global perspectives that represent the communities it serves.


Priorities: This role will serve as the leader of the aircraft safety team and will plan activities and strategy to support aircraft development through certification and into service.  This role will include identifying and developing the necessary tools and processes, and interfacing with other departments, subcontractors and the certification authorities as required. In this role your responsibilities will include but not limited to:

  • Shaping the Aircraft Safety team skills and capabilities
  • Generating and reviewing safety assessments and analyses at the aircraft, system, and equipment levels including but not limited to:
  • Functional Hazard Assessment (FHA)
  • Preliminary  Aircraft and System Safety Assessment (PASA/PSSA)
  • System Safety Assessment (SSA)
  • Fault Tree Analysis (FTA)
  • Particular Risk Analysis (PRA)
  • Common Mode Analysis (CMA)
  • Zonal Safety Assessments (ZSA)
  • Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA)
  • Claim/Argument/Evidence assessments in support of test permits
  • Bowtie risk assessment models
  • Coordinating safety activities and proposals with certification authorities.
  • Verification and approval of the demonstration of safety compliance
  • Generating and managing safety-derived requirements through the development life cycle.
  • Generating and reviewing Master Minimum Equipment List to ensure safety compliance into service.
  • Coordinating and managing safety work packages with subcontract organisations.


Experience & Qualifications:

  • Education to degree level or higher in Aeronautical/Mechanical Engineering or equivalent
  • Significant demonstrable experience of aircraft level safety assessment covering multiple analysis types e.g. CMA, PRA, Cascade
  • A sound knowledge of air vehicle system architecture
  • Thorough knowledge of ARP 4754 & ARP 4761 and their application
  • Knowledge of regulatory certification specifications i.e. CS/FAR-23, 25, 27 or 29.
  • Experienced user of Fault Tree analysis tools
  • Understanding of typical flight phases and associated risks of fixed and rotary wing air vehicles
  • Awareness of processes and requirements relevant to the certification of aircraft
  • Leadership experience of small teams of engineers to successfully deliver challenging projects
  • Leadership experience of establishing and managing subcontract work packages
  • Ability to thrive in a dynamic environment where flexibility is essential
  • Ability to communicate complex ideas so that they are understood by different audiences
  • Fluent in spoken and written English language
  • A blend of iQ and eQ, theability to solve new problems in a fast-paced start-up environment.
  • A passion for building something new.


The following would also be beneficial:

  • Experience working with multiple types of air vehicle, including rotorcraft/multirotors
  • Held a position of responsibility for certification activities in an approved aircraft design organisation
  • Familiar with Isograph toolsets
  • Working knowledge of RTCA/DO-178C, RTCA/DO-254 and RTCA/DO-160.
  • Familiar with Dassault Systemes engineering and management tools (3DX suite).
  • Experience of using bowtie methodology.
  • Commitment to professional development


Background: Founded in 2016, Vertical uniquely combines the best of the aerospace, Formula 1 and automotive industries and has become one of only seven companies globally to have successfully flown multiple full-scale eVTOL prototypes. The VA-X4, is a world-leading fully composite tilt-rotor winged eVTOL that will carry one pilot and four passengers or cargo. VA-X4 is in plan to be  certified in late 2024, placing the business in the top two companies globally with a commercially viable aircraft capable of spanning intra and intercity passenger and cargo eVTOL markets.

To apply for this role, submit your CV and a covering letter to us.

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