Systems Safety Engineer

Palo Alto, CA /
Heaviside – Engineering /
Here at Kitty Hawk in Palo Alto, we are developing ground breaking all-electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) aircraft.  Project Heaviside is Kitty Hawk’s latest high-performance electric VTOL vehicle. It is designed to be fast, small, and exceedingly quiet, taking advantage of new possibilities to free people from traffic. 

In this role, you will be responsible for executing all system safety activities including identification of hazards, recommending appropriate mitigation controls, and defining and managing safety-derived requirements. This activity requires a high level of collaboration across various functional groups and organizational levels.


    • Perform safety analysis for FAA type certification in accordance with SAE ARP4761/4754A for Part 23 aircraft
    • Select and develop system safety engineering tools and software
    • Conduct and document Functional Hazard Assessment (FHA), Fault Tree Analyses (FTA), Preliminary System Safety Assessment (PSSA), System Safety Assessment (SSA), and Common Cause Analysis (CCA)
    • Capture and manage system safety requirements in aircraft, system, and component level requirement specifications

Within 1 months you will:

    • Become familiar with product definition, high level requirements, current architecture/assumptions, and key risks/open issues
    • Understand Heaviside’s internal teams and stakeholders in order to effectively drive system engineering activities forward

Within 3 months you will:

    • Define system safety processes, including software tools used to capture and establish traceability for system safety analyses
    • Document early drafts/outlines for FHA and PSSA

Within 6 months you will:

    • Have made significant headway with the FAA and other stakeholders along the course you help define


    • Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace, Mechanical, Electrical, or related discipline
    • 5+ years of experience in system safety, preferably in commercial aviation
    • Experience with Part 23, 27, or 25 type certification process


    • Experience with uncrewed aircraft systems
    • Experience with Model Based Systems Engineering techniques and tools
    • Experience with System Safety software tools such as Reliasoft, Medini Analyze, RAM Commander, etc.
We welcome you to apply even if you don’t match every requirement posted for this role.  No one candidate will be a 100% perfect match to our description, so if you are passionate about working on the next evolution in aviation and have similar experience to what we are looking for, we encourage you to apply.  Diverse backgrounds and experiences promote innovation and our goal is to build a team that encompasses a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and skills.

All of our team whose roles allow them to work remotely are doing so, and will continue to do so until we’re able to be back in the office. For teams that are not able to work remotely we’re making every accommodation possible to provide a safe working environment, and ensuring we meet all state and county guidelines. 

Our headquarters is in Palo Alto and we offer a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, vision, and life insurance, unlimited PTO days, 10 company holidays, a 401(k) plan with 40% company matching (no vesting period), flight lesson subsidy, education assistance, and company-sponsored social events. For those working onsite, Kitty Hawk also offers commuter assistance, and free drinks and snacks.

Kitty Hawk provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Kitty Hawk abides by applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

Kitty Hawk is an E-Verify employer.