Airline pilot recurrent training and check in a year

In this article, I would like to carry out an inventory of all the recurrent trainings and checks an airline pilot has to do in a year. I will not describe them in detail, this is just to make you realize how pilots are “monitored”.

  • Medical
  • RST (Recurrent Simulator Training) / OPC-LPC
  • Line Check
  • CRMS (Crew Resource Management and Safety), DG (Dangerous Goods)
  • Fire fighting training


The initial medical check is the most advanced that you have to do. This will tell you if you can be an airline pilot or not.

But once you have done it, you have to go again every year. It is not as thorough as the initial but you still have to do mandatory checks ( medical history, eyesight, ears, physical examination, electrocardiogram ECG, haemoglobin blood test, urine test). It generally takes half a day.

When you get 60 years old or 40 years old if you do single pilot operation, you have to do this check every six months.

Recurrent Simulator Training

B737-800 Simulator

OPC (Operator Proficiency Check)

The OPC is done every six months and is combined with the LPC once a year.

Each Flight Crew Member shall complete operator proficiency checks as part of the normal crew complement to demonstrate competence in carrying out normal, abnormal and emergency procedures.

ORO.FC.230 (b)

LPC (Licence Proficiency Check)

The LPC is done every year in order to renew your licence (type rating) as well as your I/R (Instrument Rating). As I mentioned before, this is combined with the OPC so you have to spend 2 days in the simulator. When you just have the OPC, you go for one day.

The check will consist of the following:

  1. The flight training preparation and take-off
  2. Normal, abnormal, emergency operations
  3. Instruments flight procedures and landings
  4. Low visibility operations

Line check

Another check is the line check. Every year, an LTC (Line Training Captain) or LCC (Line Check Captain) will come onboard just behind the pilots and will observe them during their duty. This is done during a regular flight with passengers.

Line checks are a test of a flight crew member’s ability to perform a complete line operation, including a pre-flight and post-flight procedures and use of the equipment provided, and an opportunity for an overall assessment of his/her ability to perform the duties required as specified in the operations manual.

Each flight crew member shall complete a line check on the aircraft to demonstrate competence in carrying out normal line operations described in the operations manual. The validity period of the line check shall be 12 calendar months.

ORO.FC.230 (c)


CRMS or safety and emergency procedure training is the only training that pilots and cabin crew have in common.

Every year the emergency and safety equipment training programme must include the following:

  • Cabin Crew and Flight Crew CRM discussions facilitated by the SEP/CRM instructor. This is based on recent relevant SAIRs (Safety Aviation Initial Report) and OFDM feedback (Operational Flight Data Monitoring).
  • Actual donning of a life jacket
  • Actual donning of protective breathing equipment
  • Actual handling of fire extinguishers
  • Instruction on the location and use of all emergency and safety equipment carried on the aeroplane
  • Instruction on the location and use of main doors and exits
  • Security procedures

The DG course purpose is to train pilots and cabin crew in the knowledge and skills associated with the carriage of Dangerous Goods. It consists of:

  • General philosophy
  • Limitations
  • Classifications
  • List of dangerous goods
  • Marking and labelling
  • Packing instructions
  • Recognition of undeclared dangerous goods
  • Storage and loading procedures
  • Pilot’s notification
  • Provision for passengers and crew
  • Emergency procedures

Fire fighting training

This training is normally done once every 3 years. The following will be reviewed:

  • Instruction on the effects of smoke in an enclosed area
  • Fire fighting drills
  • Instruction on location and operation of all fire fighting equipment
  • Actual donning of protective breathing equipment
  • Actual handling of all of fire extinguishers
  • Actual fire fighting

On top of all the trainings we get, we have a lot of reading on a regular basis like SPIs (Safety Procedure Instructions), FCIs (Flight Crew Instructions), Flight Operations Technical Bulletins, Memos.

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