The Pilot School, also called by players as the Flying School or Flight School, is the most important and hardest of the vehicle schools in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, unlocked after "Verdant Meadows" with the purchase of Verdant Meadows. Unlike all the others, completion of all the lessons with at least Bronze medals is required to continue the storyline.
Pilot school consists of several lessons teaching the player how to fly planes, helicopters, and at the end — how to use a parachute. The work pays off later when the Rustler, Stunt Plane, and Hunter are unlocked respectively for achieving Bronze, Silver and Gold. By completing lessons, the player will earn/increase their Flying Skill.
The ten lessons to pass are:
- Takeoff: You'll have to lift-off and pass to three coronas to complete the test. Finish in 30 seconds or below to get a Gold medal.
- Land Plane: Fly through the corona and activate the landing gear and land in the designated place and avoid to let the nose of the Rustler touch the ground or it'll incur damage penalties. Finish in 30 seconds or below to get Gold medal.
- Circle Airstrip: Take off and climb to pass through the first corona. Then, fly a circular course through the field. Do this in a minute to get a Gold medal.
- Circle Airstrip and Land: Do the same routine on the last test but land to the designated area. Finish this in 1 minute and 20 seconds to get a Gold Medal
- Helicopter Takeoff: Piloting a Hunter, press X to accelerate to climb upward. Release X to level off. After that, rotate the helicopter 180 degrees. Push the left analog stick forward to tilt the helicopter at a 45 degrees and press and hold X to go forward. Fly through the corona to pass the test.
- Land Helicopter: Pass through the first corona by pushing the left analog stick foward and pressing and holding X. After that, land on the runway to pass the test.
- Destroy Targets: Destroy three targets in the field and then two trucks running at the back of the Snake Farm. Then, destroy remaining vans in the field and land the helicopter at the designated area. Finish this in 1 minute and 30 seconds to get a Gold Medal.
- Loop-the-Loop: To do a loop-to-loop is to press the analog stick down and pass through 2 coronas in 21 seconds to get a Gold Medal.
- Barrel Roll: Fly through the first corona, then push the left analog stick directly left quickly to do the barrel roll. After that, fly through the last corona to finish the test. Finish the test in 18 seconds or less to get a Gold Medal.
- Parachute Onto Target: Skydive down to the target and deploy the Parachute, glide to the target zone to get a medal. Landing at the center of the target zone will get you a Gold medal.
You don't need to do all the missions in one sitting. If a lesson is proving frustrating, or difficult, you can choose to leave the airfield and do other things — date a girlfriend, go gamble in Las Venturas, make the rounds of income points, hunt for oysters or other pick-ups, etc. Toreno will phone occasionally to berate you for not learning to fly, but ignore him. When you've rested, head back to the school and continue.
The reward for all Bronze is a Rustler, for all Silver a Stunt Plane, and for all Gold a Hunter.
Access to the areas of airports which contain planes will be available.
Note: Restricted areas (restricted until after flight school) of airports can often be accessed by parking a car against the gate, while on top of the car you will be able to jump high enough to jump to the top of the gate and climb over. However, with the exception of the Maverick in Easter Bay Airport in San Fierro and all aircraft in Los Santos International Airport in Los Santos, all the planes in them will be locked until completion of the flying school.
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