Helicopter Fire Pilot – California




$93,504.32 – $126,060.48 Annually


CA 90621, CA

Job Type




Job Number





The Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) is currently accepting application for the position of Fire Pilot. This recruitment will be used to establish an eligibility list/pool of qualified pilots for future vacancies. Applicants are encouraged to review the entire recruitment announcement before applying to understand the minimum qualifications.

Under general supervision, Fire Pilots are assigned the authority and responsibility to perform aerial fire suppression by piloting Orange County Fire Authority helicopters over all types of terrain during aerial firefighting, crew/equipment transport, reconnaissance, medical rescue, disaster mitigation and related activities; maintains pilot flight logs and records; performs minor repairs and inspections to Orange County Fire Authority helicopters, and performs other duties as required.

The Fire Pilot is the first level in a two level helicopter pilot series. Incumbents serve as Pilot in Command (PlC) during a full range of helicopter missions including but not limited to missions related to fire suppression, are responsible for the safe overall operation of Orange County Fire Authority aircraft, and have the final authority for all safety-of-flight aspects of the helicopter operations. The Fire Pilot is distinguished from the Chief Fire Pilot which performs lead journey-level pilot duties and is responsible for supervisory activities.

(These duties are intended to be representative sample of the duties performed by the class.)

Operates medium size turbine powered helicopters over all types of terrain to suppress wildland and other types of fires; may be involved in making water/foam drops in assigned fire suppression target areas, effecting rescues, and transporting firefighter crews and logistical materials to the fire line.

Reviews and maintains written and computerized flight logs and records.

Transports fire medical personnel to medical emergencies and injured patients to hospitals.

Operates special helicopter accessory equipment to carry-out fire suppression missions, which may include: fixed water tank, hydraulic snorkel, external water bucket, sling loads, and rescue hoist.

Assists in training crews to operate safely in and around helicopters; uses maps; operates fire and aviation radios; checks, cleans and maintains helicopters; performs general housekeeping duties in a fire station

Maintains self and helicopter in a constant state of readiness for dispatch to emergency and non-emergency alarms; or to assigned locations for ready response standby.

Researches, develops and writes procedures for Helicopter Program.

EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE (position requirements at entry*):

  • Four thousand (4,000) logged hours of flying time in helicopters as Pilot-In-Command, including experience in power-off-auto rotational landings.
  • Fifteen hundred (1,500) hours of this time must have been flown in mountainous terrain at altitudes over 4,000 feet on map survey work, power line patrol or construction work, fire control work, rescue operations work, or similar assignments requiring take-offs and landings with maximum loads on unimproved landing areas under adverse weather conditions.

LICENSES AND CERTIFICATIONS (position requirements at entry*):

  • Must possess and maintain a valid Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Commercial or Airline Transport Pilot Certificate with rotorcraft-helicopter rating
  • Must possess and maintain a valid Class 2 or Class 1 FAA Medical Certificate
  • Must possess and maintain a valid Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Helicopter Instrument Rating


  • At least 500 hours of low-level flight such as powerline patrol, animal survey/capture, and vegetation management
  • At least 50 hours of Night Vision Goggle flight
  • At least 50 hours of instrument time.

Possession of a valid California Class C Driver License is required at time of appointment. This classification is subject to enrollment in the California DMV Pull Notice Program, which periodically provides Risk Management with the incumbent’s Driver License record and status.

KNOWLEDGE (position requirements at entry):
Knowledge of:

  • Helicopter flight control systems and equipment; Interagency Helicopter Operations Guidelines; Federal Aviation Regulations and the Aeronautical Information Manual
  • Wildland fire behavior and fire weather
  • Aerial fire suppression
  • External load operations
  • Night vision systems

SKILLS (position requirements at entry):
Skill in:

  • Operating medium size turbine powered helicopters over all types of terrain
  • Operating special helicopter accessory equipment, including fixed water tank, hydraulic snorkel, external water bucket, sling loads, and rescue hoist
  • Reviewing and maintaining written and computerized flight logs and records
  • Analyzing fire and other emergency situations accurately and taking effective action
  • Reading, speaking and understanding the English language
  • Communicating effectively in writing
  • Preparing and making clear and concise oral presentations
  • Reading, understanding, interpreting and applying Authority policies, rules, laws and ordinances
  • Establishing and maintaining harmonious and effective working relationships with superiors, subordinates and other employees in emergency and non-emergency situations
  • Carrying out a conditioning program to maintain good fitness
  • Performing Fire suppression via utilization of aircraft



The Human Resources Department reviews all initial application materials to identify qualified applicants. The OCFA reserves the right to refer only the better qualified applicants if the number of applicants is high. If the number of applicants is high, the review process may include a secondary screening (by a panel of job knowledge experts) of the applications and/or supplemental questionnaires in which the better qualified applicants are referred to the next phase of the recruitment process. Because recruitment processes vary, applicants are advised to thoroughly review the job announcement before submitting their online application materials.

PANEL ORAL INTERVIEW:The minimum passing score is 80%. The panel interview will have a weight of 100% of the candidate’s overall score. Candidates will be required to present proof of all certification requirements.

FIRE PILOT CHECK FLIGHT EXAMINATION:Candidates who successfully complete the oral interview will be invited to participate in the Fire Pilot Check Flight will be administered to candidates who successfully pass the panel interview. The Fire Pilot Check Flight is a pass/fail event.

CHIEF’S INTERVIEW:Candidates who successfully complete the Chief’s interview may be invited to begin the pre-employment background process.

Human Resources will notify qualified candidates by EMAIL of the scheduled dates, times, and locations for the events listed above.

ELIGIBILITY LIST:Placement on the eligibility list will be established based on a successful completion of the selection process listed above. The eligibility list will remain in effect for a period of one (1) year from the date of establishment or until all the names on the list are exhausted. The eligibility list may be extended or abolished at the discretion of the Assistant Chief, Human Resources.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS AND WORKING CONDITIONS :Ability to pass a medical examination for public safety personnel whose duties demand good fitness, strength, agility and vision; operate both as a member of a team and independently at incidents of uncertain duration; wear required safety gear including but not limited to flight helmet, Nomex flight suit and personal flotation device in the course of performing duties; lift or carry a minimum of 45 pounds; pull, push and reach above the shoulder, stand; sit; stoop, kneel, repeatedly bend, crawl; walk; talk or hear; use hands or fingers, handle, or operate objects, tools, or controls; be exposed to trauma victims; operate motorized equipment, hoses, pumps, fire appliances and fittings, office equipment, radios and other communications devices; operate in environments of high noise, outside weather conditions, near moving mechanical parts; in confined spaces; perform physically demanding work in hot, humid atmospheres while wearing equipment that significantly impairs body-cooling mechanisms; perform a variety of tasks on slippery, wet surfaces; exposure to dust, products of combustion, risk of electrical shock or vibration.

Specific Vision Abilities: Binocular close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and the ability to adjust focus.

NOTE: The above job description is intended to represent only the key areas of responsibilities; specific position assignments will vary depending on the needs of the department.

In accordance with the Americans With Disabilities Act, anyone who needs an ADA accommodation for the purposes of employment testing should contact duke Steppe, Senior Human Resources Analyst at dukesteppe or (714) 573 – 6807 upon opening of this recruitment.

All questions regarding this position should be directed to Duke Steppe, Senior Human Resources Analyst at dukesteppe upon opening of a future recruitment.
The Orange County Fire Authority is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.

Agency Orange County Fire Authority
Address 1 Fire Authority Road

Irvine, California, 92602
Phone (714) 573-6800

Website http://www.ocfa.org

Source: Governmentjobs

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