The first step is to earn an FAA Private Pilot Certificate.
This requires two distinct but interrelated phases, that can be done one after the other or concurrently.
1.- Ground Training. This is what we also call “ground school”. This is where a student acquires the knowledge necessary to be a pilot. It can be done different ways.
a) Classroom setting, where we have scheduled classes and at the end of the course the student is ready to take the FAA knowledge test.
b) Self studying, where the student gets the books needed and reads and studies them.
c) Online course, where the student subscribe to an online ground school course that they can access at their own time and advance at their own pace.
Any one of these paths, or a combination of them, should prepare the student for the FAA Knowledge Test (we used to call it the “written test”). This test must be passed before the end of the Flight Training phase. Your students could complete this part where they are now. We have an FAA knowledge test center here.
2.- Flight Training. This is the part that requires the use of our simulator and airplanes, and is done one-on-one with a flight instructor. Before this is started, a non-US Citizen student is required to register with the TSA and required to get TSA permission to start airplane training. Simulator training can start before TSA approval.
Flight training is divided in three parts:
a) Pre-solo. This is the initial training that teaches from zero time to the time a student flies solo. It takes an average of 15 to 20 flight lessons.
b) Cross Country. The student learns how to go places. A cross-country flight is one that is 50 nautical miles or more from the point of origin, with a landing at all points.
This takes also around 15 to 20 flight lessons.
c) Check-ride prep. 4 to 6 lessons, where the student gets ready for the final test for the Private Pilot Certificate.
1- TSA approval before flight starts.
2- Third Class Medical Certificate and student pilot certificate before first solo.
3- Knowledge Test passed before final check-ride.