Conservation Pilot, Central African Republic at Wildlife Conservation Society

Director, Okapi Wildlife Reserve at Wildlife Conservation Society

Position title: Conservation Pilot
Reports to: Field Operations Manager / WCS Aviation Fleet Manager
Location: Bamingui-Bangoran National Park, Manovo-Gounda St. Floris National Park
Country Program/Sector: Central African Republic
Position Type: Full Time
Internal liaison: Law Enforcement, biomonitoring and logistical team
Expected travel: Occasional international travel for maintenance and meeting purposes


The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is a US non-profit organization founded in 1895. Its mission is to preserve wildlife and wilderness by understanding critical problems, developing scientific solutions and taking conservation actions that benefit nature and humanity. With more than a century of experience, long-term commitments in dozens of landscapes, a presence in more than 60 countries, and experience in the creation of more than 150 protected areas around the world, WCS has accumulated the biological knowledge, cultural understanding and partnerships needed to ensure that wild places and animal species thrive alongside local communities. Working with local communities and organizations, that knowledge is applied to address species, habitat and ecosystem management issues critical to improving the quality of life of rural people whose livelihoods depend on the direct use of natural resources.

Program Overview

The WCS Central African Republic program is dedicated to saving wildlife and enabling sustainable community development in the Northeastern Protected Area Complex (NPAC), the country’s largest wilderness protection area, extending across 11.5 million hectares. It encompasses the Bamingui-Bangoran National Park, the Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park, also classified as a World Heritage Site, and faunal reserves and old hunting areas that function as biodiversity corridors. The NPAC is the main water source for all of north-eastern CAR and a crucial contribution to the Chari basin and Lake Chad, which provides drinking water to over 30 million people across four countries. In December 2018, WCS and the Central African Republic government subscribed to a 25-year public-private partnership agreement, whereby WCS is fully responsible for conceiving and implementing conservation solutions, park management, law enforcement, and community development models within the NPAC, following national laws and policies as well as WCS global standards.

Job Summary

This position is responsible for undertaking aerial patrols of conservation areas, supporting aerial biomonitoring application and providing logistical support to wildlife law enforcement and project operations in the NPAC. The position is a full-time, field-based position based out of the WCS project HQ in Bamingui-Bangoran National Park. Although professional pilot experience is a central requirement to fulfilling this role, this position requires a wider engagement and capacity to fully support and strengthen a professionally structured and safety centered air wing operation and effectively contributing to the overall objectives of the conservation project. The position also includes some technical reporting writing and administration. The WCS Central African Republic pilot reports to the Project manager regarding project operational and administrative aspects and to the WCS Fleet Manager in regards to aviation safety and aircraft maintenance management.

Major Responsibilities:

  • Expert application to safely pilot aircraft for aviation support to park operations and resource protection as well as logistical activities.
  • Oversee and maintain the highest standards in aircraft management and operations, following all policies and procedures in place.
  • Assure all aircraft documents are in place, updated and maintained.
  • Follow all flight approval and tracking procedures in place
  • Maintain a detailed flight log report of all flights and hours flown, including location, passengers, purpose and duration.

Aviation Operations

  • Participate in regular planning meetings concerning aviation operations with WCS Field Operations Manager, Ecologist and Monitoring point person and law enforcement team
  • Maintain the aircraft in a pristine, clean and well-managed state, including regular cleaning of the airframe, engine compartment and equipment.
  • Train any staff involved in aviation operations on safety around aircraft and procedures.
  • Closely work with the WCS Aviation Fleet Manager and Maintenance Manager regarding aircraft maintenance and scheduling
  • Assure aircraft is always fully secured.
  • Manage aviation stocks and plan accordingly for procurement (avgas, oils and other usable).
  • Manage aviation facility (office, stores and hangar) and equipment and assure the condition of the airstrip is according to agreed standards and operational needs.
  • Manage all survey and surveillance equipment assigned to the aviation wing.
  • Closely liaise with the project logistics manager for aviation logistics (transport, fuel, oils) and documentation (aircraft and flight clearance).
  • Support aviation operations budget planning and needs and develop annual plans/budgets for the NPAC Aviation Unit.

Aviation Safety Management

  • Assure the WCS Standard Operation Procedures are fully implemented in all operations and any requirements communicated by the WCS Fleet Manager.
  • Report all safety concerns, incidences and hazards and fully contribute and interact with the WCS Safety Management System as prescribed.
  • Maintain the highest safety standards at all times.
  • Participate and conduct regular internal evaluations, as agreed upon by the WCS Fleet manager and part of the WCS aviation SMS on operations
  • Report all aircraft issues and snags through the established procedures and via direct communications with the WCS Fleet Manager.
  • Participate and comply with regular flight and safety management training requirements

Qualification Requirements

  • Current US FAA commercial pilot license with instrument rating;
  • FAA second class medical certificate;
  • 400 hours PIC flying experience and solid knowledge of operating under FAA regulations;
  • Experience in Africa, especially francophone Africa an advantage;
  • High-performance piston engine time is required, preferably on C206 model or similar;
  • Experience with wildlife surveys, anti-poaching surveillance and bush flying in remote areas is an advantage;
  • Experience flying under FAR part 135 and/or FAA A & P license is an advantage;
  • Ability to communicate effectively within cross-cultural teams or varied capacity, both orally and in writing, in working out solutions to problems or questions related to work;
  • Willingness and motivation to be based and live in a challenging and remote location.
  • English and French language fluency required.

How to apply

Interested candidates, who meet the above qualifications, skills and experience, should apply through this link by March 31, 2023.

WCS is an equal opportunity employer dedicated to hiring and supporting a diverse workforce. We are committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment and look for future team members who share that same value.


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