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Airline pilot training is extensive, highly structured, and driven by aircraft and airspace system operating requirements, yet pilots describe a tradition of between-pilot knowledge transfer and self-directed learning. While industry and regulators focus on “formal learning” systems, pilots report relying on this “informal learning” to build operational expertise, suggesting gaps in how successfully formal learning prepares pilots to handle operational complexities. The community that researches learning has extensively studied informal learning, including in a workplace setting, and its characteristics align with how pilots report increasing their skills and knowledge informally. However, no research into informal learning practices among airline pilots seems to exist. In this paper we provide some examples of informal learning in commercial aviation, show how they fit into two existing frameworks for workplace learning, and propose that researching informal learning might help identify opportunities to improve formal aviation learning systems.