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Flying School

The Flying School is located inside the Abandoned Air Control tower at the Verdant Meadows airfield in the Desert. It is unlocked after you complete the mission "Verdant Meadows" for the Mike Toreno (which also involves buying the place for $80,000) and you will be required to complete it before being allowed to do any more missions.

The Flying School requires 10 small objectives to be completed as best as possible. You will need over 70% on every objective in order to complete the school, however getting a better rating will improve your flying skill and allow you to unlock special vehicles. This guide will try to explain the best techniques to get Gold on all of the objectives, because everyone knows that if you can get gold, you can get bronze easier!

Completing all of the objectives with at least Bronze will unlock the Rustler.
Completing all of the objectives with at least Silver will unlock the Stuntplane.
Completing all of the objectives with at least Gold will unlock the Hunter.

Special thanks to Icey for some assistance in putting together this guide.


Flying School

Takeoff
Description
Press and hold X to accelerate along the runway. When the plane's tail rises, pull back on the left analog stick to lift the nose and take off.

Vehicle Given
Rustler

Tactics
The first mission is always going to be easy. In fact the great thing about the flying school is that they are all easy if you can fly a plane. Obviously you need to do these missions to get good at them, but say if you're starting a new game, it's incredibly easy to get all gold. Anyway, all you need to do is hold X until you see the back of the plane lift off the ground, then pull back on the analog stick slightly so the plane is going up at about a 45 angle. Hit R3 to retract the landing gear, then fly straight towards the corona. From there push the analog stick forwards and dive down slightly towards the next corona, then pull it back again and head to the final corona. This doesn't require turning one bit, so if you don't go straight the whole time, you're doing something wrong.

Gold Criteria
Time: 30 Seconds Or Less
Damage Penalty: 0%
Overall Score: 100%


Land Plane
Description
Press R3 to extend the landing gear.

Vehicle Given
Rustler

Tactics
This again requires no turning, so just hold X from the start, aim slightly forwards so you drop down and pass through the corona, then level out the plane so that you're flying low, but straight over the runway. Hit R3 to bring down the landing gear, then hold square in periods of about half a second on, then half a second off. You should be almost stopped before reaching the red circle, and if you land just in front of it, you should carry into it. As long as you're mostly in the circle you'll get 100% for position score.

Gold Criteria
Time: 20-25 Seconds (Roughly)
Position Score: 100%
Damage Penalty: 0%
Overall Score: 100%


Circle Airstrip
Description
Press and hold X to accelerate along the runway.

Vehicle Given
Rustler

Tactics
This is the equivalent of the first objective, mixed with some relatively easy turning manoeuvres. Follow the same instructions from the first objective, drive forwards, pull back on the stick when you see the back end of the plane lift off, then pull up the landing gear with R3. Ignore the message telling you to use L2 and R2 to turn, they are pretty useless. Instead, just use the analog stick to turn to the right (or left, depending on which course you chose). Once you're facing directly towards the corona, use the analog stick the other way to try and balance out the plane. Then you'll need to make a series of left turns flying through the coronas. You can pull back on the analog stick as you turn to turn a lot sharper, but you shouldn't really need that for this. Just gently fly through the coronas and get used to levelling out the plane and when you cross the dam, the nearest checkpoint to the airfield will be the last.

Gold Criteria
Time: 59 Seconds Or Less
Damage Penalty: 0%
Overall Score: 100%


Circle Airstrip And Land
Description
Press and hold X to accelerate along the runway.

Vehicle Given
Rustler

Tactics
This is basically the same as the previous one, with the second objective added onto the end, so you're already done all three parts of this objective before which should let you know what to expect. Do the same thing as before to take off and fly around the coronas until you reach the one just past the dam, then you'll need to make a relatively sharp turn to the right, and dip down towards the runway. Bring down the landing gear and try to fly straight along the runway, quite low, if possible. As you start to get about half way, hold square on and off like from before and try to touch down just before the red marker. Stopping anywhere inside it will give you the position score, but you'll need to make sure you land the plane smoothly, because if you decrease at too much of an angle, you'll damage it and lose some percent.

Gold Criteria
Time: 79 Seconds (Roughly)
Position Score: 100%
Damage Penalty: 0%
Overall Score: 100%


Helicopter Takeoff
Description
Press and hold X to accelerate upwards.

Vehicle Given
Hunter

Tactics
This is extremely easy to do. If you've played GTA Vice City you'll know how to fly a helicopter, and all you need to do here is hold X until you are told to stop, hold L2 to spin around 180, then fly forwards and through a corona. I'd advise spinning around the 180 as soon as you take off, so you're ready to head forwards through the corona which will save you a few seconds. Other than that, this is very easy.

Gold Criteria
Time: 31 Seconds (Roughly)
Damage Penalty: 0%
Overall Score: 100%


Land Helicopter
Description
Push the left analog stick forward and press X to maintain your forward speed.

Vehicle Given
Hunter

Tactics
This could be considered slightly difficult, although once you get the hang of it, it's a piece of cake. You need to hold X and push the left analog stick forwards to fly along the runway, then when the message appears telling you to release X, do it, and let the helicopter glide towards the red marked. Just before you get to it, pull back on the analog stick which will sort of work like a brake, and can usually result in you stopping right over the red circle where you just need to hold square to drop to the ground. Your time is quire short, but by using the pull back technique instead of the L3 hover technique, you can cut about 5 seconds off your time.

Gold Criteria
Time: 30 Seconds Or Less (Roughly)
Position Score: 100%
Damage Penalty: 0%
Overall Score: 100%


Destroy Targets
Description
Destroy the three trucks at the end of the runway.

Vehicle Given
Hunter

Tactics
This is also rather easy, maybe it's just because of previous helicopter experience, but either way there shouldn't be too much difficulty with this, apart from maybe blowing up the cars. When you start, just fly along the runway the same way as you did to land before, only just as you see the trucks, either try to lower the front end of the helicopter and fire rockets by pushing circle, or hold L1 to fire the machine gun. While the machine gun takes longer, it almost has an auto-aim which means that the bullets will usually be aimed at the nearest vehicle, so if you cant hit anything with the rockets, use the guns. Once you've taken out the three trucks, you'll need to make a 180 and head towards the top left of the airfield where you'll need to take out two cars. These are moving and will probably be easier with the machine gun. Just hover near them and hold L1 until they both blow up. After that you'll need to fly back to the runway and land in the red marker which isn't hard if you did it the same way as before. You'll need to try and land straight in the red circle though, or you'll lose position score, so rotate with L2 or R2.

Gold Criteria
Time: 70 Seconds (Roughly)
Position Score: 100%
Damage Penalty: 0%
Overall Score: 100%


Loop-The-Loop
Description
Press and hold X to maintain your height, keep the plane level and head for the first corona.

Vehicle Given
Stuntplane

Tactics
Hold X and fly towards the first corona. Stay level and just as you get there, push forward slightly. As soon as you go through it, you'll be told to hold back on the analog stick and do a loop-the-loop, so hold back and watch as the plane goes all of the way around in a backflip. You'll then need to try and level yourself out and fly through the last corona. You need to try and get the timing spot on though, because this objective is pretty strict about how much time you take. I'd advise not actually doing the backflip until you are about halfway through both coronas so that you don't have as far to go while trying to level out.

Gold Criteria
Time: 21 Seconds Or Less
Damage Penalty: 0%
Overall Score: 100%


Barrel Roll
Description
Press and hold X to maintain your height, keep the plane level and head for the first corona.

Vehicle Given
Stuntplane

Tactics
Use the same start for this one as you did for the last one, but this time, just as you get to the corona, pull back so you start to go up. Then as soon as you pass through the corona, hold left to do a barrel roll. Usually this will make you drop out of the sky slightly, but seeing as you went up a bit, you should be almost perfectly level to fly through the next corona. The barrel roll is a lot easier if you are going up while doing it. I don't understand why, but it makes it a lot easier to balance out as you go through the last corona.

Gold Criteria
Time: 18 Seconds (Roughly)
Damage Penalty: 0%
Overall Score: 100%


Parachute Onto Target
Description
While freefalling, push the left analog stick forward to dive forwards.

Vehicle Given
N/A (Parachute Weapon)

Tactics
Let's keep this simple. As soon as the objective starts, hold the left analog stick forward for 22 seconds on the timer. Then open your parachute and hold down until 40 seconds. Then let go of everything and let it glide you down towards the target zone. You'll probably need to tap back on the left analog stick 4 times in order to land perfectly in the middle, but that's pretty much the perfect jump.

Gold Criteria
Time: 55 Seconds Or Less
Position Score: 100%
Overall Score: 100%




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