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Air Vehicles FAQ by Rocket

Version: 1.2 | Updated: 12/07/02

Grand Theft Auto Vice City Air Vehicles FAQ
Version 1.2
E-mail: mark@asherer.karoo.co.uk
Written by Mark Sherer (AKA Rocket on Gamefaqs MSG boards)

Version History


Added more information on the Sparrows(sea and normal).

Added non-flyable plane and helicopter guide

Added Bradsnet to the Credits


Added a host of people to credits

Added information on the RC Air-borne vehicles.

Updated information on the Hunter.

Updated inforamtion on the Sparrow


One of the most asked questions that I've seen by GTA beginners, is where can I 
get hold of a Helicopter or Plane? Well this question has been answered many 
times over, and I'd thought I would compile everything I knew (and everyone 
else on the GameFaqs GTA:VC Msg board) into something a little more permenant. 

Happy reading!


1. Getting Started
2. Planes
  a. Skimmer

  b. RC Baron

3. Helicopters

  a. Maverick

  b. Police Maverick

  c. VCN Maverick

  d. Sparrow
  e. Sea Sparrow

  f. Hunter

  g. RC Raider

4. Non flyable Planes/Helicopters

5. Credits

6. Legal Stuff


Ok first off, the only thing you really need to know about hunting Choppers 
and the Plane is that you need the FULL MAP OPEN. Once you have done that, you
can happily start flying in some of the choppers.
Others require a little bit more work and patience. One thing to note about 
locations of the Helicopters, is that they are not always there! I haven't 
figured out quite why, but if they are missing drive around for a bit and head
back. It will annoy you somewhat, but that is how the game works. Live with 
it! :-). 


OK, thanks to an e-mail from Jeremy Wisniewski, you actually do not need the
full map open to access the Mavericks. You can in fact jump across the
barriers before you are meant to and you'll be able to fly all the Mavericks.

In order to find out exactly how to jump them early, use the "Restricted Area"
FAQ on Gamefaqs by KiLLuMiNaTi.


2. Planes

In Vice city there is in fact 2 planes you can pilot around. One of them is a
RC vehicle and the other is a real plane. Both of them aren't as good as
flying as the Helicopters. You'll probably end up crashing a few times, in
both a few times before you get the grips with them.

a. Skimmer

How to Unlock: Beat Dildo Dodo(the second asset mission for the flim studio)

Where to find: Almost certain chance of it been behind the flim studios.

Info: As the only plane in the game the Skimmer is unique. However get in it 
for the first the time and you'll be like "WTF?"
It is a devil to control compared to the Choppers, and is no where near as 
versitile. It can only take off in water, so you land on land and you'll be 
driving home. Also turning is a real nightmare, and hitting a building is a 
sure fire way to wreck your flight. Still it is novel to fly it, and just for
the sake of completion my guide on how to fly it.

On the plus side of it all, it is faster than a Maverick and it is the only
thing close to the Dodo in GTA3.

Note: The controls for the Skimmer are inverted, for the D-Pad and Analogue.

Basic Controls:

X: Acclerate
Dpad/Analogue stick Up: Lower Altitude
Dpad/Analogue Stick Down: Raise Altitude
Dpad/Analogue Stick Left: Bank Left
Dpad/Analogue Stick Right: Bank Right

To take off:

Get a long patch of water and press X. As you gain speed HOLD the Raise 
Altitude button. The Skimmer with effort will take off. Once it does release.
Now watch the plane slowly it will probably try and land again, so tap
the Raise button to keep it in th air. Unlike the Dodo from GTA3, levelling 
out is not necessary unless you hit down too much and your nose is vertical.

To Turn:

Give yourself plenty of time. The Skimmer cannot take turns as well as choppers
can. If you mess up head for water as quickly as possible(remember the 
Skimmer is useless on land).

Best way to take turns IMO, is that to press the bank left or right button and
at the same time hold down. After you finish turning level the wings out by 
pressing left or right depending on which way you turned.

Be careful, turning too tight will cause the Skimmer to plummet to the ground.
If that happens, quickly cut off your turn and hit down. Once again, head for 
water is you feel you cannot regain control fully.


Aim for water. Hit the up button. Hit water. Done! Easy part. You can also land
on dry land,you just won't be able to take off again. 

It isn't that hard to fly at all. You just need practice.

Oh flying this is the only way to increase your flight hour thing. Helicopters
don't count!


b. RC Baron

How to Unlock: Unlocked at the start of the game

Where to find: The North point mall parking lot at the top. If you search for
the northern Ammu-nation on the first island, you'll find the North point mall.
Circle the mall until you find the entrance of the parking lot. Head up and get
in the Top Fun van in the corner. The van isn't always there, so be warned!

This little RC Plane sucks. It spins very easily, can't take hardly any damage,
and you have to do a race in it. You'll need to have to have a light finger, at
all times flying this. During the race, just keep a sharp eye on the
checkpoints you coming up to. They are often lower they you thought they were.
Thankfully your rivals are very slow, so if you fly a clean race, you'll win.
A special feature of RC vehicles in general is you can press circle to blow it


3. Helicopters

These things are what you'll probably spend most of your time flying.
Very,very easy to fly, you shouldn't have any problems getting used to them.
Anyway all the Helicopters handle like this:

X : Raise Alititude / acclerate

[]: Decend

D-Pad/Analogue: Turn left, right, up or down

L3 : Hover

L2/R2: Rotate left/ right.

The trick with helicopters is when flying, have the nose slightly angled to 
face the ground.It will then go like a rocket across Vice City. You'll have to
experiment to find the balance between going fast and flying into the ground. 

Landing is easy. Hit L3 to kill speed and watch as you land slowly. Hit Square
to increase your descent to earth.

You won't need much practice at all to fly them. Promise :-).

If you are still stuck for flying them try this alternate method by 
Adam Rixey:

"There's an easier, alternate method of flying the helicopters.  Instead of
using four separate buttons to ascend, descend, and rotate, just use the
right analog stick.  Pushing left and right will cause you to rotate.
Pulling back will cause you to gain altitude, and pushing forwards will
cause you to descend.  After a few minutes of practice you'll be able to
make much more precise maneuvering and quicker direction changes than if
you were using the buttons."


3a. Maverick

How to Unlock: Unlock the full map (beat Phnom Penh '86)

Where: Roof of Hyman Condo(head to the downtown ammunation, then go left 
towards the row of electronic stores, head right and turn down the little 
alley. It costs $14,000 to buy), the Vercetti estate roof.

The Maverick(or it's variations) will probably be your first Helicopter on VC.
They are easy to fly and the civilian model is arguably the best. Easy to fly,
ease of finding it(at your best 2 hideouts) and the fact it comes with the 
Radio Tuner gives it this title.

Not much else to say about the Maverick as it isn't that special.... 


3b. Police Maverick

How to Unlock: Unlock the full map (beat Phnom Penh '86)

Where: Roof of downtown police station (if you head up the main road,the one 
with the bridges into downtown where to road splits, take the right past the 
greasy chopper and skumhole shack, and take the first left. The police compound 
is the big building to your right. Head into it
and take the stairs up to the roof. The Police Maverick is sometimes sitting 

Unlike those flashy police choppers in GTA3, the police Maverick does not have
a weapon. In fact it handles exactly the same as the Civilian Maverick, with 
the exception of the radio. The police radio, while R* did put some jokes on 
the drone of the police radio, isn't very interesting.

Still it is nice to fly in silence(or near to it) if you feel like it.

A trick for this, is to use it to fly to Hyman Condo's roof and you can nab the
Maverick before you have even bought Hyman Condo!	 


3c. VCN Maverick

How to Unlock: Unlock the full map (beat Phnom Penh '86)

Where: VCN Roof (The VCN building isn't marked, but I can tell you, that it is
the first building on your right of you when you cross over the Prawn Island 
Bridge from Prawn Island. My directions sound confusing, but if you look around
the downtown prawn island bridge entrance you will spot the VCN building, you 
can not miss it. The door you'll need to the roof is at the front of it.)

The VCN Maverick is the worst of the Mavericks. No radio, it's smaller and it
handles worse.
It is a lot lighter than the other 2 which perhaps is why it handles so poor. 
Still get used to it and you might have fun in it, otherwise go grab the Police
Chopper for a freebie instead.

The helipad though is actually VERY close to the Easter Egg. Head to to corner
of the pad look left and you'll a pair of solid looking windows. Take a 
running jump at them. You'll go through the wall. Happy Easter!  


3.d Sparrow

How to Unlock: Not sure....I think it is as soon as you unlock the second
island, however if not, beat Martha's Mugshot for the Flim Studio and that will
make it appear for certain...

UPDATE: Ok thanks Jeremy Jeremy Wisniewski again, the Sparrows do not seem to
appear straight after Phnom Pehn 86'. I recommend you beat Martha's Mugshot
since that unlocks them for certain.  

Where: The roof of an apartment near the Southern Pay and Spray on the first
island. OK, fairly hard to find. There is this big white house directly next to
the pay n spray. Best way to find it is to find the Ocean Beach Hospital. Head
up the main road past the pay n spray and stop right at the next building. It 
should be white. If you head round the back, there should be some steps 
leading down to a bribe. Anyway, now that you know where the house is, grab
another Helicopter to fly onto the roof of it and jump in. Or you could jump
from the white building on pillars next to the pay and spray. It is a unique 
jump by the way. This jump is also the last jump on the mission PCJ playground
. The PCJ which triggers this mission is north of the Ocean Beach hotel.
Once and the top of the long road. You'll see a hill in front of you.
The bike is on top of it.

You can also find one from the low level roof on the building where you did
"G-Spotlight" for the Flim Studio. To find it, head past the Greasy Chopper
like you were going for the Police Maverick except take the next left. The left
is little more than an alley, so be warned. You should see some steps on the
left hand side of this big alley, so head up and claim your prize.

Another Sparrow is hidden in the bushes near Leaf Links Apartments. Head south
and you'll notice a big arch way which leads to a maze of yards. The sparrow
is hidden in one of them.

The last of the Sparrows, is hidden in Little Haiti. Using Bradsnet's Hidden
package guide for number 67, the Sparrow is on top the roof there.

All of the Sparrows start checkpoint missions, so get out and in to cancel

After the effort needed to find one, you might be slightly disappointed.
Still it does fly very easily, even more so than the Mavericks so enjoy it.
The checkpoint missions offer a fair bit of fun, so be sure to grab a Sparrow
every now and again!


3e. Sea Sparrow

How to Unlock: Collect 80 hidden packages

Where: After collecting 80 packages, head round the back of Diaz's Mansion/
Vercetti Estate.

The second best helicopter in the game. It flys like the Sparrow,
it can land on water and land and still take off plus it has a minigun built
in(R1 to fire) ! You can cause mayhem with this baby, plus
it is very easy to find. Finding the packages may be a pain so use bradsnet
(here on GameFaqs) Hidden Package guide if you are stuck.

One thing I've notcied about the Sea Sparrow, it is ALWAYS there. It never
goes AWOL, and another one spawns very quickly. Another advantage over the
Mavericks and the Hunter!

The only thing which may stop you flying this is the military gunship, the


3f. Hunter

How to Unlock: Find all 100 hidden packages OR beat "Keep your friends close"
, the last story mission.

Where: Once you have four filled EITHER one of the tasks above, the Hunter
appears at the Airbase at the BACK of it(head round the back of the aiport). 
Once you have DONE BOTH OF THE TASKS, it will appear on a helipad at a house
in Ocean Beach. The house is right next to Marina where Cortez's boat is.
If you save from the Ocean Beach Hotel, and head south following the curve
round, you should eventually see a fountain. The house is almost opposite
that. Just a bit further down the road.

Still can't find the house? Use Bradnet's Hidden Package guide for number 3. 

As for how to get it off the army, wear a cop outfit, unarmed. People have told
of different ways to this without using it, but I failed each time, so I use 
the cop outfit and it works everytime.

UPDATE: OK it is possible without the cop uniform. Grab another Chopper. Now
fly in the north where the Hunter is. Land hard in front of it. Get out and
run the Hunter. Hop in and fly out. This does not work everytime though.
Sometimes Army guys will be next to Hunter making it impossible to take off.

Ohh baby! The ultimate vehicle is a stunner. Based off an Apache, this thing
packs tonnes or firepower(mingun and missiles), with an auto-aim built in. 
It can take a load of punishment(two rockets are needed to fell this thing!) 
as well as looking very cool. Please note that the Auto-aim, is automatic, you
do not need to press anything. Get a good view of your target and let rip.

You may struggle to fly this at first so don't try and do "Brown Thunder" until
you can fly very well.

When chasing Criminals, use the L3 button the keep the Hunter steady. It gives
you a very good aim. And try to stick near the airport at first for vigilante
missions. The cars cannot really hideout behind buildings blocking your fire.

This is very heavy to fly at first so keep steady, but you'll soon be racking 
up vigilante levels of 40+. Of course there is nothing to stop you from being
a felon in it, GTA lets you decide!


g. RC Raider

How to Unlock: Unlock the full map (Beat Phnom Pehn 86')

Where: Right next the Vice City Transport bulding. Go and buy Sunshine Autos.
From Sunshine Autos turn left and down to the bottom of the road. Turn right,
past the Hooker Inn hotel. This road eventually has a fork in. Take the left,
and you'll see the VC transport building. The Top Fun Van is in the lot next
to it.

I hate this thing! It spins really easily, is about as durable as a piece of
wet paper and has a boring mission. It took over 10 min for me to the its
checkpoint mission.

The checkpoint mission, features some really horrible checkpoints to get.
The one under the plane sticks out in my mind. Just go slowly. It handles the
same way as any other helicopter does, just very light. This thing doesn't like
a heavy hand so be tap your controls.

Good news is that you have unlimited time for this mission and it isn't a race
so take plenty of time, you shouldn't have any troubles.

One again, blow it up with Circle if you wish.


4. Non-flyable Planes/Helicopters

A collection of the air traffic you'll find it the air. You can't hijack or
fly the things in the air you'll see.

Remember, you can fly the VCN and Police Maverick. Just not the ones in the

a. Full Wing Dodo

Still buzzing around the Sky in the 80's, and still un-flyable. It tugs around
a stretched picture that you find on the newspapers on the ground. It flies
pretty quickly as well. Still if you want, hop in the Hunter and show it your
missiles. This causes a HUGE,HUGE explosion and you'll have to deal with a 3
star rating. Small fry really. Anyway you can watch the banner flutter to the
ground if you want.

b. Blimp

Seems to hang around the downtown area, mostly. You can't shoot it down and 
I think it is too high to reach it by helicopter. Not much special about it.

c. 727 Jets

Those big jets from GTA3 are still around. They fly off the map like before
and they are hollow still. You can catch them(see them) at the airport where 
they land at regualar intervals.

d. Police Mavericks

OK, they are not un-flyable, but you'll see a few buzzing through the air.
There is 2 CPU Police Mavericks. One that patrols the skies doing nothing.
You can't shoot it down. The second one is that one that follows you, with
a machine gun and the SWAT team in it with a pilot to snipe after you have at
least a 3 star rating. This one can be shot down. Sadly the police maverick
you'll get in the game does not have a gun.

e. VCN Mavericks

I not even certain these fly around. But I swear I have seen one buzzing
around. It acted exactly like the "patrol" Police Chopper. I was in a
vilgilante mission so I didn't pay it much attention. It well of being the
patrol police chopper.

You can fly a VCN Maverick, just not the one you'll see flying about.

5. Credits

Rockstar North for producing a wonderful game.

A load of people on the VC board for quickly ripping apart GTA:VC(thanks guys!)

CjayC for the best gaming source on the net

Bradsnet for his superb hidden package guide, which I referred to numerous 
times during this FAQ

Adam Rixey for his alternate way of flying Helicopters

Jeremy Wisniewski for helping me on Sparrows and notifying me you don't the
full map open for the Mavericks.

Rick Murphy for telling me the Jets are 727's. Not 737's or Airbuses. Silly

My Mum for chipping in the extra £5 needed to buy this game :-).

And last but not least you for reading this guide :-)

6. Legal Stuff

This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, 
private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed 
publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other 
web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a 
violation of copyright.

In other words, no other sites can host this FAQ apart from GameFaqs.

Don't even bother asking me.

This guide is not afflicated with Rockstar, Rockstar North or Take-Two 
Interactive. All trademarks and copyrights are owned by their respective

Copyright of Mark Sherer 2002

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