The goal of flight instruction is to help you gain the knowledge and skills to make flying safe and fun. That’s especially the aim of the private-pilot rules. The exact flight path to this destination will vary depending on the flight instructor, school, your time, and your current skills; especially the skill of learning.
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Following are Flight Guides on what you’ll learn on your first flight, before you solo and after you solo. Once your instructor feels you are ready, he or she will endorse your logbook confirming that you are ready for the practice test, and help you set an appointment with an FAA examiner. Before this point, hopefully very early in your instruction, you will have studied for and passed the private-pilot knowledge test by enrolling in a ground school or taking a multimedia ground-school you can study at home.
"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."
-- Andre Gide