Help me get past flight school in GTA:SA for PS2.
December 28, 2005 9:54 AM   Subscribe

Is there a way to cheat past a specific mission in GTA:SA? Lacking that, would someone be willing to take a copy of my GTA:SA game save and complete the Flight School mission for me?

I'm stuck on the "Flight School" mission in GTA: San Andreas for PS2. I'm just having a devil of a time flying that fershlugginer plane. Unfortunately, that means my progress in the game has come to a halt. I've already spent a couple hours trying to complete the first "flying-through-rings" deal without success. I've tried a couple different controllers, etc. I understand that they're only going to get worse [fly through rings and drop bombs, etc.]. I'd like to finish the game before I retire.

Especially frustrating is that I understand from game guides that I only have to use my pilot's license once, in the next mission, and I don't have to do any fancing bombing or anything. All I need to do is get past this one dang mission so I can continue. Grr.

I've found many game saves on the web, but they're all either way too early [lots of stuff collected, ready for first mission] or way too late [all story missions complete]. I haven't found the "Just past flight school" game save, or an editor to let me check off this one mission.

I've got the ability to move my game save to a USB key, so if some kind soul would be willing to do a bit of flying and save for me, I'd appreciate it.
posted by chazlarson to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What site are you looking for game saves on?
posted by matimer at 10:12 AM on December 28, 2005

I don't have an answer, but can only offer encouragement -- It took me for-frikkin-ever to get past the dancing on the beach mission. Leaving the game alone for a while allowed my desire to progress to surpass my frustration with the mission; that's when I was able to hunker down and get through it.

Do you have a friend who could come over and do it for you?
posted by o2b at 10:15 AM on December 28, 2005

From here:


Learning To Fly
The flying school equivelant to the three others covered earlier. The only
required school of the game.

a) Takeoff - Difficulty: 1/10
Hold down the X key, climb when you have speed. On my second try, I got
gold at 30 seconds.

b) Land Plane - Difficulty: 3/10
Again, no steering. Try not to touch down too early. Stop in the red
target. 25 seconds earned me a gold.

c) Circle Airstrip - Difficulty: 6/10
Take off, and fly through the coronas. I found this a lot easier in first
person view. 66 seconds earned me a silver.

d) Circle Airstrip and Land - Difficulty: 7/10
Same as last time, but with a land and stop in the corona. 1:23 earned me
a silver.

e) Takeoff Helicopter - Difficulty: 3/10
Take off until told to stop, rotate 180 degrees using L2 or R2, and move
forward towards the corona. 32 seconds earned me a gold.

f) Land Helicopter - Difficulty: 3/10
Head for the far end of the runway, land in the circle. 34 seconds earned
me a silver. Probably would have made gold had I not overshot the target.

g) Destroy Targets - Difficulty: 7/10
I think this ones harder than the circle airstrip missions. First person
view, until landing, made this one easier. 77 seconds earned me a silver.

h) Loop-The-Loop - Difficulty: 3/10
This one's easy - IF you use first person. Otherwise, it can be very
challanging to figure out when to pull out of the loop with the outside
camera still catching up. 21 seconds was worth gold.

i) Barrel Roll - Difficlutly: 3/10
Same as before - use first person to make this one easier. 18 seconds was
worth gold.

Note: Thanks to Liam Wrig for pointing out my double 'Loop-The-Loop'
entries. Cut-n-pasting will do that to you.

j) Parachute Onto Target - Difficulty: 4/10
If you haven't parachuted yet (off the tall buildings in Los Santos or
San Fiero), then welcome to one of the funnest things to do in the game.
Hold forward on the stick until the last moment, then tap back after the
chute opens to get in the 35 target zone. You must land in the center to
get gold. Open when you get through the clouds - at about 22-23 seconds
in. Then, it's all about landing on the center.

Congrats - you now have a pilots license, and all the airports are open to
you now. This also facilitates the best way to travel quickly in the game.
The Shamal (Leer jet equivalent). There's at least one at every airport.
Take off, fly over where you need to be, and jump out (using Triangle).
Even if you don't have a parachute in inventory when getting in the plane,
you will automatically have one, and it'll be equipped, when you jump.


Hope that helps.
posted by weirdoactor at 10:17 AM on December 28, 2005

Grrr. Try cutting/pasting this into your address window -
posted by weirdoactor at 10:18 AM on December 28, 2005

Flight school took me forever as well... until I learned the trick to it. You are probably trying to steer too much, all that's needed is the lightest move with the PS2's joysticks.

When I first tried flight school, I kept the sticks aimed in the direction I wanted to go, which didn't give me enough control to get through the rings properly. Lightly push the stick in the direction you want to go, let go of it, and keep adjusting until you make it.

It will take a while for you to figure out exactly what degree of pressure on the joystick you need, but once you get it down flight school should be a lot easier.
posted by yellowbinder at 10:25 AM on December 28, 2005

StuckGamer has video of how to pass all the schools.
posted by event at 10:29 AM on December 28, 2005

Response by poster: matimer:

I looked in greatest detail on Gamefaqs, though I did a google search earlier today and didn't find much else.


I'm the only person in my circle of friends who plays video games. My nephew is only 12, so he's not playing GTA:SA yet. One possibility is to take out an ad in the local paper. I imagine some high school kid would take a few bucks to get me past it.


Right. I know *what* I have to do, I'm just having a heck of a time actually doing it. I've got that same 100% completion FAQ printed out. I've now attempted "c" dozens upon dozens of times, crashing every time. I've probably spent an hour or two of playtime trying to get past "c". At that pace, I'm not optimistic about getting past d-j.
posted by chazlarson at 10:31 AM on December 28, 2005

Flight school is a biatch. I have heard that if you spawn a plane or steal on from one of the airports; you may fly it around for 20 minutes and earn your license. I have not had the patience to fly around for 20 minutes, so I do not know if this works or not. Good luck
posted by strangelove at 10:51 AM on December 28, 2005

What you need to do is do some other missions in between and practice flying. Just fly in a straight line with the tiniest corrections. The airstrip circling missions are the hardest of the flying school missions, but you do need at least a similar amount of flying skill to do some later missions. Take your time, fly in 1st person view. I'd love to help you, but I only have the PC version of the game.
posted by fred_ashmore at 10:52 AM on December 28, 2005

Could it have to do with your character stats? I got to one point in the game (not going to spoil it for those who haven't played) where I could not do a task, and ended up restarting. That's a good thing to do anyway (once you've mastered gameplay and controls), so you can have a stronger character. I'm doing that on Gun right now; using my knowledge and skills to make myself stronger earlier. A lot of gamers don't WANT to start over from the beginning, and I can't blame them. But if you want that 100%, you have to have a strong, skilled character being played by an experienced player.

Also, like o2b, I find that when I am frustrated with an in-game problem, I have to get away from it for awhile. Usually I play a game that I have mastered, just to build up my confidence. Or just get away from the PS2 or PC altogether, go to the movies, go to the park, ride my bike, whatever. Clean out the buffer, so to speak. Then you can go back to the frustrating task with a bit more patience.

Good luck.
posted by weirdoactor at 10:53 AM on December 28, 2005

Response by poster: yellowbinder:

That may help. I do seem to get into trouble with oversteering.


That is a neat site, but I'm not sure how much it helps. On first blush, I watch the video and think, "Yep, that's what I'm trying to do, but I always lose control and crash." As you watch his video, you can see him have trouble steering, say between the first and second donuts. He recovers, I don't. I guess it's just a matter of practice. It's a really frustrating roadblock for Rockstar to have put in there, though.
posted by chazlarson at 10:54 AM on December 28, 2005

Response by poster: >Could it have to do with your character stats?

I don't know, maybe. I've just been playing through the story missions. As I complete a mission, or if I fail it some variable number of times, I'll refer to the FAQ to get a pointer. I've largely ignored the side missions [Zero, courier, trucking, taxi, firetruck, etc.]. I built up a pile of money at the OTB early on [7.5mil] and so haven't worried about any of the non-story revenue missions. I haven't bothered with the workout and girlfriend stuff, and only eat when the game tells me to.

There was some mission where I needed a certain level of swimming skill before I could attempt it, and so I swam straight out to sea and back in to get my Dolphin Fins or whatever, but that's the only character-stat-dependent mission I can recall running into. Usually, the game is pretty good about saying "Hey, you need to do this first," so if I needed to have such-and-such a muscle stat to fly a plane I'd think it'd say so.

>I have to get away from it for awhile.

Oh, I have been. I haven't played now for probably a month. Burnout 3's Crash mode got to me [all golds there]. It just occurred to me today to try AskMeFi.
posted by chazlarson at 11:07 AM on December 28, 2005

Another trick is to try steering with the directional pad instead of the analog sticks. It's been several months since I played SA, but I seem to remember that helping. Again, just tap the buttons. The flight school missions are all about practice, but this can be frustrating if you keep failing the tests. Try grabbing a plane and experimenting to find out what works for you.
posted by yellowbinder at 11:17 AM on December 28, 2005

I was also stuck forever on the "Circle the Airfield" mission. Based on my experience:

1) Get 100% pilot skill. Steal the Shamal (Lear Jet) from LS airport, pick a direction, and fly off the map straight and level for 30 minutes or until your pilot skill is 100%. You can do 15 minutes out and 15 minutes back, or do a one-way mission like me. I guess you could swim back. Be aware that flying this far off the map activates the gang territory glitch.

2) Fly slow. Maneuvering a plane is easier at a slow speed.

3) Use the rudder (R1 and L1 I think, if not, R2 and L2). The rings are all in a plane, when I first tried to do Circle Airfield, I used the ailerons and was constantly flying into terrain.

4) Keep at it. I literally did this mission 50 times. I went and did Paramedic, Firetruck, Taxi, and Vigilante trying to "do something else".

5) When landing (like in the next mission "Circle Airfield and Land"), remember to put your landing gear down with R3.

FWIW, the Flight School missions after this are all cake. Take off in helo, land a helo, shoot shit from a helo, and skydive on a target, are all easy.

Oh, LS airport is open from the start of the game. Just drive a car next to the wall of the airport, hop on the hood, and climb over the wall.
posted by Fat Guy at 12:21 PM on December 28, 2005

If you can get gold in the first two lessons, that’ll boost your flight skill and make the plane a little easier to control. So will just flying around, as previous posters have mentioned.
posted by hilker at 12:26 PM on December 28, 2005

Response by poster: Ah, I didn't realize I could boost flying skill without having my pilot's license. It makes sense that higher flying skill would make the plane easier to control, just like cycle skill or what have you.

This gives me new hope. Thanks for all the suggestions.
posted by chazlarson at 12:36 PM on December 28, 2005

Just to make sure: are you remembering to raise the landing gear? They only mention it in the first training mission, and I forgot that part, which makes the plane steer like ass and stall. Yes, that should be obvious, but I guess I'm a little slow.

If that's not it, there's probably something you're missing. It's hard to say without watching you play, but try moving the analog less. When you need to make a correction, move the analog, then wait for the plane to "settle". You don't need to be directing the plane at all times like when you're running around.

I wouldn't recommend cheating to get past the flight school. You'll need the practice. There's one mission where you have to hug the ground (in a freakin forest) to avoid radar detection. It's 10 times harder than flight school. And I remember at least a half dozen missions that require flying, though maybe not all of them were mandatory.

Good luck!
posted by Sibrax at 12:43 PM on December 28, 2005

As I recall, and as a couple other people have noted, using the first-person view helps a lot in the ring tasks, as you'll oversteer a lot less when you're looking out from inside the plane.
posted by kowalski at 12:51 PM on December 28, 2005

Try changing your perspective. I found Flight School tons easier once I switched to first-person view (don't know how to do this on PS2). You could just aim straight at the rings without having to think at all about where your plane was headed.

Something else that helps: don't stay on the throttle. If you hold down the gas, the plane will have a tendency to rise, which is just another motion you have to correct for while turning.
posted by chrominance at 1:33 PM on December 28, 2005

Alright, I need this game. Should I get the PS2, Xbox, or PC version?
posted by Eamon at 4:30 PM on December 28, 2005

i remember giving up in one of the gta games for similar reasons: the mission was to fly a model helicopter thru a building.. it seemed impossible to do for me ..
posted by suni at 4:43 PM on December 28, 2005

Google "GTA forums."
There are a number of forums where you can upload your save game, and some gamer will complete the mission for you, and re-upload your new save game.

Don't ask me WHY they do it - it's probably some prestige issue... but, it works, and they're quick. I needed some help with the Flight School, so I posted my save game, and I got a response by the end of the day. Good luck!
posted by itchi23 at 6:13 AM on December 29, 2005

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