In this simple Grand Theft Auto 5 guide, we’re going to go through how to fly helicopters in GTA 5, Airplanes too,
Air travel is one of the fastest and most efficient ways to get around in Los Santos and Blaine County, especially if you own the compact and nippy Buzzard Attack Chopper that can land virtually anywhere.
We’ll go over the specifics of aviation in GTA V and GTA Online.
Basic Controls and Mechanics
Flying has the addition of needing maneuver across another axis, so it’s a tad more technical than driving land vehicles. In helicopters, using RT/R2 will cause the aircraft to ascend, and LT/L2 will cause you to descend.
Hold RT/R2 with the left analog stick held forward to fly forwards and hold up on the same stick to pull up/brake.
The Shoulder Buttons of RB/R1 and LB/L1 will turn helicopters to the right and left respectively. The left analog stick will control your pitch.
Related: How to Sell Cars In GTA 5 (2021)
Flying Planes In GTA 5
Planes function more similarly to cars in that RT/R2 and LT/L2 are accelerate and brake/reverse respectively (reversing obviously only available when you’re not in flight). When flying planes, using RB/R1 and LB/L1 will steer the aircraft to the right and left without banking.
When on the ground, pick up speed and take off by pulling down on the left analog stick. Push up on the same stick to head towards the ground.
Pushing the left analog stick to the left or right will bank the plane causing it to go horizontal/vertical, but will keep you flying in the same direction. In order to turn effectively, bank to the desired direction and pull down on the left analog stick. Reorientate the plane when you have completed your turn.
Planes and select helicopters require landing wheels to be lowered in order to land properly. This is done by clicking the left analog stick in. For the Akula Stealth chopper, clicking the left analog stick in switches the helicopter to stealth mode.
Like in all vehicles, using the B/Circle button will switch to the cinematic camera. Entering the aircraft will give the user a parachute in GTA V after completing the mission “Minor Turbulence” and in GTA Online players can purchase additional parachutes and custom them.
The ability to control your aircraft will depend on your character’s Flying skill, which can be increased by 1 point for every ten minutes (real time) spent in flight, or by flying underneath a bridge.
Earning medals at the Flight School at Los Santos International Airport will also increase your Flying skill by 3%, 4% and 5% for bronze, silver, and gold medals respectively.
Advanced Controls and Special Aircraft
There are a number of unique vehicles available from Warstock Cache & Carry that have special controls in addition to the regular options.
For aircraft outfitted with weapons, use the X/Square to cycle through all the armaments the vehicle has (Machine Guns, Homing Rockets, etc.) Use the A/X button to fire the selected weapon. In the Volatol and Alkonost, hold left on the D-pad to open the bombing bay doors.
In vehicles that have both weapons and multiple seats, passengers/co-pilots can operate the weaponry by pressing the prompted D-pad direction. The game will then give a user message on how to control the selected weapon.
If you are playing as a CEO, you can spawn special aircraft for a fee (or for free if you own the model) by using the SecuroServ Interaction Menu.
You can also have personal aircraft delivered to you by using the “Vehicle” option in the Interaction Menu. (Note that you must own a Hangar to have/own personal aircraft).