What is a pilot line check?

A line check in aviation is the final pilots examination (skill test) after line training in an airline. After a successful initial line check, the pilot is released to a normal line flying operation.

Thereafter there is an annual line check conducted every year to verify the pilot’s proficiency.

A line check usually consists of a normal flight, but at least one non-precision approach has to be flown (if conditions allow). There may be a verbal theory exam during the flight to assess the knowledge of the trainee pilot.

The pilot who is conducting the line check is called the line check captain (LCC) or line training captain (LTC).

There are two possible scenarios:

1.) Just one pilot is being checked
In this case the line check is usually conducted from the pilot’s seat and the line checker is both the examiner and the second operating pilot (acting as CPT if a first officer is being checked, or F/O if a captain is being checked).

2.) Both pilots are being checked
In this case the line check is conducted from the third seat (jump seat) and the line checker is just in the role of examiner and does not operate the aircraft.

After each line check there is a de-briefing. The outcome is Pass or Fail with written feedback and is kept on the pilot’s training file.