The best place to start is with a Discovery Flight. A discovery flight is a chance for you to experience what it's like to fly an airplane and make sure it's something you'll want to continue doing (you will). You'll fly with an experienced FAA certificated flight instructor in a safe, well-maintained, modern aircraft. The flight time counts toward your required training, too!
We'll pair you with a Flight Instructor, and the two of you will coordinate what schedule works best. This includes how often you want to do lessons, and what times and days work best for you.
Your instructor will introduce you to flight school operations - things like how to schedule a lesson online, where to pick up the keys for the airplane, and other safety and administration-related tasks. They will ask to see
either your passport or birth certificate to verify your US citizenship (a requirement by TSA before we can conduct flight training).
The flight portion of your first lesson is a progression of the Discovery Flight. You'll fly most of the lesson, learning basic aircraft controls. The instructor will go more in depth on each subject than you saw during the Discovery Flight. When you return, you and your instructor will go over the flight, fill out the flight in your logbook, and talk about the plan for your next few lessons.
A syllabus is a schedule of lessons that act as a guide for your flight training. It explains what skills or maneuvers you will practice during each flight, so you'll know ahead of time what to expect. Use of a syllabus is optional, but is highly recommended as it helps you track your progress toward completing your training and make it easier for you to study the material own your own prior to your next lesson.
Depending on what skills and maneuvers you are practicing that day, most flights are about 90 minutes. You'll also spend about 30 minutes with your instructor during Pre- and Post-Flight Ground Training. The total lesson is usually 2 hours.
You'll hear these terms a lot. A Dual flight means your instructor is onboard with you, teaching and helping you maintain safety of flight. Solo flight means you are by yourself in the airplane. The instructor will brief you on what skills and maneuvers you should practice. After the flight your instructor will debrief you, giving you another opportunity to learn from your practice.
Your first solo flight is a big achievement. Because you are flying by yourself, your instructor will first ensure you can safely and consistently control and land the airplane. Most students are ready to solo after 15-20 hours of flight instruction. Your mileage may vary- if weeks go by between lessons, it will take more flight time to be ready.
After you solo your training will shift to Cross-Country work - flights to airports more than 50 miles away. At first you'll do these lessons with your instructor, practicing your navigation skills. After a few lesson you will practice these flights by yourself.
You will continue to hone your skills with local solo flights. You will also practice flying at night with your instructor. Pretty soon your training will wrap up with checkride prep flights- a few lessons where you'll practice all the maneuvers on the Practical Test (the "checkride"). Your instructor will make sure all the Private Pilot Certificate requirements for flight time and skills are met. If you haven't taken your Private Pilot Knowledge Test yet, you'll need to get it done in order to qualify for the Practical Test.
After all your training is complete, you'll take the Private Pilot Practical Test. You'll meet with a Designated Examiner, who will first give you an oral exam to ensure you understand the knowledge requirements of the certificate. Then you'll fly with the Examiner, demonstrating the maneuvers you've learned in training. At the successful completion of the flight, the Examiner will issue you a Private Pilot Certificate. Congratulations!