Before being able to act as pilot-in-command pilot (PIC) a pilot must have completed a flight review within the previous 24 calendar months. Per FAA regulation 61.56, the flight review (previously known as a biennial flight review or BFR) is a review of pilot skills and aeronautical knowledge required of every active holder of a U.S. pilot certificate at least every 24 calendar months.
The flight review consists of at least one hour of ground instruction and one hour of dual instruction with a qualified instructor. A flight review is not a test; there is no pass or fail criteria, although the instructor giving it can decline to endorse your log-book that a flight review has been completed.
The FAA has developed an excellent document for conducting an effective flight review. We strongly support this approach and use it whenever we conduct a flight review. If you are interested in reviewing the guidelines that we use for conducting a flight review please read Conducting an Effective Flight Review (PDF).