Evening guys,

Another question from me tonight. I see a lot about IOE in this forum and I know it comes after “ground school” at the airlines (after being hired) but I haven’t really grasped the idea of what it is, how it works and what your schedule is like during this period.

If someone could shed some light on this, I’d greatly appreciate it.



IOE is “Initial Operating Experience”. It is after your checkride in the simulator and is time spent flying with a special Captain, called a “check airman”. These are actual revenue flights with passengers, but the check airman is there to help you learn the ropes as you gain that initial experience. The check airman is also responsible for deciding when you are ready to be signed off and released to flights with a regular Captain.

This happens anytime a pilot qualifies on a new piece of equipment or upgrades from First Officer to Captain.


Thanks for the response, Chris. Is the student with the same check airman for the entire duration of IOE, or could it change? I heard IOE is around 40 hours.


It’s normally around 20-25 but can and often is extended. 40hrs is on the high side.

Varies with airline and schedules. You may have the same check airman, you may have different ones.



I just finished 25 hours of IOE with one check airman yesterday. I have another trip next week with a different check airman and that should be it, with about 40 hours.