GTA 5 Flight School Guide

GTA 5 Flight School Guide

In GTA 5, completing the Flight School challenges will increase your flying skill and make you a better pilot. (with each character)

Flight school notes and tips

  • Flight school is the fastest way to increase your flying skill, which improves aircraft handling, makes landing easier, and decreases the effects of turbulence.
  • Flight school prepares you for some missions which require some of the skills you learn (like the knife flight challenges for example)
  • Each lesson awards a Bronze, Silver or Gold, determined by your completion time.
  • There are a total of 13 lessons listed below, all of which (Except the first one) are locked on your first visit to Flight School. 
  • Earning a bronze will unlock the next lesson.

Here are all 13 lessons and some tips on how to pass them, and get gold.

Lesson 1: Training Take Off
Gold: 00:32 - Silver: 00:50 - Bronze: 01:00

This is the first flying lesson and it focuses on the basic takeoff. You start by getting a preview of what you're supposed to do, and right after, a three second timer will count down, from there, you will be in control of your aircraft. Your target time for Gold is on the bottom right of the screen.

Hold RT (Xbox 360) or R2 (PS3) to accelerate and use the left control stick to adjust your pitch. (to go up or down).

Once you pick up some speed, the aircraft will slowly lift off the runway, gently tilt the pitch and aim for the yellow ring floating above the end of the runway. Also don't forget to raise your landing gear (by hitting the left stick) right after taking off to reduce drag on your plane. Fly toward the second checkpoint to finish. Watch out for some minor turbulence which will pull your plane into different directions and make small adjustments to stay on a direct path to the second checkpoint. Once you finish, you should get a Gold medal if you stay on a direct path.

Lesson 2: Runway Landing
Gold: 00:35 - Silver: 0055 - Bronze: 01:10

This lesson will teach you how to safely land on the runway. Start by lowering the plane's altitude slowly by pitching downward. Deploy your landing gear and slow down as much as possible without stalling (your engines will turn off if you decelerate too much). Also try to land as close as possible to the yellow checkpoint marker at the end of the runway. If this means speeding up a bit, then slowing down to land at the last minute, you should practice that so you can get gold. Once you land, get ready to quickly taxi to the left to the final marker and stop the plane by slamming on the breaks. The key to getting gold in this one is landing near the yellow marker as fast as possible.

Lesson 3: Inverted Flight
Gold: 01:40 - Silver: 02:00 - Bronze: 02:20

In this lesson, you will learn how to do barrel rolls and fly upside down. The intro video will give you a good preview. Start by reaching the first marker and get a bit of altitude. Jackson will tell you to do a barrel roll, and once you complete that, he will ask you to do three in a row. Make sure you get some more altitude before attempting this, or you risk crashing. Also make sure you level out fast after your rolls to save on time. Lastly, you will be instructed to fly upside down. As soon as Jackson tells you, roll your plane upside down and hold it there. You can see how level you are by checking your radar. Right after, roll your plane right side up to complete the lesson.

Lesson 4: Knife Flight
Gold: 00:54 - Silver: 01:15 - Bronze: 01:40

This lesson will teach you how to fly sideways while maintaining altitude using your rudder. This is a simple and easy maneuver which requires you to turn your plane sideways, and then hold the rudder (L1, R1, or LB, RB) to maintain your altitude and fill the meter. You will be asked to keep your plane sideways for five seconds on one side, and then on the opposite side. Right after you hold your plane sideways, try to level out quick to save time and get the gold.

Lesson 5: Flat Hatting
Gold: 01:40 - Silver: 02:00 - Bronze: 02:20

In this lesson, you will be required to fly a checkpoint course around the harbor while maintaining a low altitude. In total there are 21 checkpoints and you start on the runway. While you do need to fly low, you don't need to fly lower than the height of the floating checkpoint markers. Use your rudder to help you steer during this lesson. Note that the hitbox for the checkpoints is large, so you don't have to fly directly through them to get credit. Fly slightly to the left or right to them (depending on where the next checkpoint is) to save some time and increase your chances at getting gold.

Lesson 6: Touch Down
Gold: 10 feet - Silver: 45 feet - Bronze: Finish

This lesson is a bit different as it has you landing the plane on a bridge. You start in the air, facing the bridge where you have to make an emergency landing. Your goal here is to land as close as you can to the final checkpoint at the end of the bridge. After you pass through the first checkpoint, get ready to land. Slow down a bit, and try to touch down as smoothly as possible, and begin breaking. The closer you get to the final checkpoint, the better. Watch out for traffic as well. This one might take a few tries to get gold.

Lesson 7: Loop the Loop
Gold: 01:40 - Silver: 02:00 - Bronze: 02:20

In this lesson you will learn how to do an inside loop. Watch the intro to get a preview of the maneuver. To prevent entering a spiral, keep your control stick as straight as possible. Take off and get some altitude to reach the first marker. Once you do two loops, get as much altitude as possible for the next maneuver. At this point you will be asked to perform a roll of the top. This seems a bit complicated at first, but it's really not. Start by doing half a loop, and right when you are halfway through the loop, roll your plane over and level off. If you do it correctly, getting gold on this one should be easy.

Lesson 8: Helicopter Course
Gold: 02:40 - Silver: 03:15 - Bronze: 03:45

Time to learn how to fly the helicopter! This course will get you used to the helicopter controls by having you fly through some checkpoints around the city. The helicopters in this game are a bit harder to control than the ones in previous games, and are more prone to turbulence than planes, so it takes a bit to get used to. A good tip to stabilize your helicopter and to keep it from wobbling is to hold both rudder keys together. Also using the rudder together with the left control stick will allow you to make really sharp turns. Near the end, there will be a checkpoint that is easily missable so slow down and make sure you don't skip it. You finish this lesson by landing on a helipad.

Lesson 9: Helicopter Speed Run
Gold: 02:10 - Silver: 03:00 - Bronze: 03:30

Another helicopter lesson but this time you are required to fly through the city as fast as possible. Keep your helicopter as level as possible to avoid the bridge and bridge supports on this course, and maintain as much speed as possible by keeping the left stick tilted forward. There are a few checkpoints which are directly above or in the middle of bridges, so be very careful. When going through the bridge support beams, try not to tilt your helicopter forward too much as the back of the blades might clip the support beams! Also, use your rudders in combination with your left stick for very sharp turns. Near the end, drop down into the helipad over the building to finish.

Lesson 10: Skydiving
Gold: 03:10 - Silver: 10:00 - Bronze: 20:00

This lesson will teach you how to skydive and land on a stationary target. Start by leaping out of the plane by hitting X (Xbox 360) or Square (PS3). While you are free falling, you can use the left control stick to steer your body. Press A (Xbox 360) or X (PS3) to deploy your parachute and aim for the center of the landing target. There is no time limit in this lesson, so take your time. The landing target should be on your radar if you don't see it at first. Hold back on the control stick to slow your decent, and use the RB, LB, (360) R1, L1 (PS3) buttons to turn sharply. Once you are near the landing target, aim for the middle and hold both the LB and RB (Xbox 360) L1 and R1 (PS3) to enter precision landing mode. This mode will slow you down and lets you guide yourself to the target with ease. If you overshoot, just circle around a bit until you can hit the center dead on in precision mode.

Lesson 11: Drop Zone
Gold: 00:00 - Silver: 07:00 - Bronze: 20:00

In this lesson, you will skydive and try to land on a moving target. Once you are near the ground, deploy your chute and match the truck's speed. Once you're close to the target, enter precision mode and guide yourself to the center of the target landing zone for the gold. Try to line up behind the truck, and don't enter precision mode until you're very close to the center of the target.

Lesson 12: Earn Your Wings
Gold: 02:50 - Silver: 03:15 - Bronze: 03:40

Here it is, the final flying lesson. In this lesson you will fly through a course in the city performing various stunts that you learned in the previous lessons. To get prepared, I would recommend trying for gold in some of those lessons before attempting this one.(if you haven't already). The green checkpoints are knife checkpoints in which you have to fly through them sideways, and the blue checkpoints are inverted checkpoints which require you to fly through them upside down. The rudder should be your best friend in this lesson. Getting gold will not be easy on this one.

Congratulations on completing flight school!

If you have any questions, comments or GTA 5 flying school tips or flying tips in general, please post them in the comments below. Thanks for visiting and for your contributions.

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