The Private Pilot flight training course is divided into three phases:
PHASE 1 (Pre-solo)
The object of this phase is to train you to the level where you can safely perform all the basic flight maneuvers and procedures. You will learn to hover and then pickup and set down the helicopter. You will practice take offs, landings, traffic patterns, and radio work. When you and your instructor are ready, it will be time for the big step — your first solo. You will start your big day with a few traffic patterns with your flight instructor to be sure you feel comfortable. When you land, your instructor will get out and watch you repeat the maneuvers. You will pick the helicopter up to a hover, this time all on your own, and execute a few more traffic patterns before returning to your instructor, a new person and ready for stage II.
PHASE II (Student Pilot)
During this phase you will develop your skills in the basic maneuvers. Between solo flights you will fly with your instructor who will introduce you to the advanced maneuvers and the principles of cross-country navigation. This is probably the most exciting part of the training, since you now get a chance to put the skills you have acquired to practical use. During this period your instructor will also teach you the techniques of night flying and mountain flying.
PHASE III (Pre-Check ride)
This consists of the last few hours of dual instruction, during which your instructor assists in refining your skills in preparation for the practical test. No new maneuvers are introduced during this phase; most of the emphasis is on accuracy and judgment. This phase ends with the check ride which is given by an FAA designated examiner.