How to Fly Helicopter in GTA 5

How to Fly Helicopter in GTA 5

GTA 5, developed by Rockstar Games, has become one of the most popular open-world action-adventure games among gamers worldwide. With its vast and immersive gameplay, players can explore the bustling cityscape of Los Santos and engage in thrilling missions and activities within the game’s expansive world.

One of the most exciting features of GTA 5 is the ability to pilot various vehicles, including helicopters. So, if you’ve ever dreamt of soaring through the skies of Los Santos like a true professional, you’re in luck! In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the basics of flying a helicopter in GTA 5, courtesy of

Whether you’re a novice looking to take your first flight or a seasoned player searching for some handy tips and tricks for maneuvering these airborne machines, our guide will provide you with all the information you need to take to the skies in style. So, let’s buckle up, adjust our rotor RPM, and get ready to experience the thrill of helicopter flight in GTA 5!

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1. Obtaining a Helicopter

In order to fly a helicopter in GTA 5, you first need to obtain one. Helicopters can be found at helipads, rooftops, and airports scattered throughout the game map. You can also steal one from NPCs or purchase one at online stores.

1.1 Finding a Helipad

To find a helipad, you can use the in-game map or a guide. Once you locate a helipad, approach it and you will find a helicopter parked there. Some helipads may have multiple helicopters to choose from.

1.2 Stealing a Helicopter

If you prefer a more thrilling approach, you can steal a helicopter from NPCs. Spot a helicopter flying in the sky or landing at a helipad. Use your preferred weapons or hand-to-hand combat to eliminate the pilot and take control of the helicopter.

1.3 Purchasing a Helicopter

In GTA 5, you can visit online stores like Elitas Travel or Warstock Cache & Carry to purchase a helicopter. These stores offer a variety of helicopters at different price ranges. Simply navigate through the menu, select the desired helicopter, and make the purchase.

2. Entering the Helicopter

After successfully obtaining a helicopter, you need to enter it to prepare for flight.

2.1 Approach the Helicopter

Walk or run towards the helicopter until you are close enough to interact with it. Alternatively, if the helicopter is flying, wait for it to land before approaching.

2.2 Enter the Helicopter

To enter the helicopter, press the designated key or button prompted on your screen. The specific key or button depends on the platform you are playing on (e.g. E for PC, Triangle for PS4). Once inside, you will take control of the helicopter.

3. Basic Helicopter Controls

Now that you are inside the helicopter, let’s familiarize ourselves with the basic controls.

3.1 Taking off

To take off, you need to increase the helicopter’s altitude. Generally, you can do this by pressing and holding the throttle button (W on PC, R2 on PS4). As the helicopter ascends, use the left stick or arrow keys to steer it in the desired direction.

3.2 Landing

Landing a helicopter is crucial for safe navigation and passenger drop-offs. First, locate a suitable landing spot, preferably a helipad or open area. Reduce the throttle gradually to slow down the helicopter’s descent. Use the left stick or arrow keys to position the helicopter as it touches the ground.

3.3 Changing Altitude

To change the altitude of the helicopter during flight, adjust the throttle appropriately. Increase it by pressing the throttle button (W on PC, R2 on PS4) to ascend, or decrease it to descend. Maintain control to prevent drastic altitude changes.

3.4 Tilting and Turning

Helicopters can tilt and turn, allowing you to navigate through tight spaces or dodge obstacles. Use the right stick or mouse to tilt the helicopter forward or backward (pitch) and sideways (roll). To turn the helicopter left or right (yaw), use the rudder controls (A/D on PC, R1/L1 on PS4).

4. Advanced Helicopter Maneuvers

Once you have mastered the basic controls, you can attempt more advanced maneuvers to enhance your helicopter flying skills.

4.1 Barrel Roll

A barrel roll is a breathtaking maneuver that involves a 360-degree horizontal rotation while maintaining altitude. To perform a barrel roll, tilt the helicopter to one side using the right stick or mouse and initiate a roll with the help of the rudder controls. Ensure you have plenty of altitude and space to execute this maneuver safely.

4.2 Touch and Go

The touch and go maneuver involves briefly landing the helicopter on a surface and immediately taking off again. Find a suitable surface to land on, such as a helipad or rooftop. Gently touch down and then quickly increase the throttle to take off once more. This maneuver requires precise control to perform smoothly.

4.3 Auto Rotation

Auto rotation is an emergency landing technique used when the helicopter experiences engine failure. It allows you to glide the helicopter down safely. To initiate auto rotation, reduce the throttle to idle. Use the helicopter’s forward motion to generate lift and control the descent by adjusting the pitch. This maneuver requires practice and skill to execute effectively.

5. Helicopter Combat

GTA 5 allows you to engage in exciting helicopter combat, both in single-player missions and online multiplayer sessions.

5.1 Aiming and Firing

When using weapons on a helicopter, you can aim by moving the crosshair with the right stick or mouse. Use the designated button (e.g. mouse click, R1 on PS4) to fire or launch missiles. Precision aiming combined with accurate timing is crucial for successful combat engagements.

5.2 Dodging Missiles

When under enemy missile fire, you can employ evasive maneuvers to avoid getting hit. Swiftly maneuver the helicopter in zigzag patterns, making it harder for the missiles to track your movements. Additionally, flares can be deployed to distract incoming heat-seeking missiles.

5.3 Colliding with Targets

Skilled helicopter pilots can collide with other vehicles or targets, causing significant damage. To execute such a maneuver, carefully approach the target, align the helicopter’s trajectory, and maintain control to deliver a devastating collision. However, remember that this tactic may come with risks and repercussions.

Congratulations! You are now equipped with the knowledge to fly helicopters in GTA 5. Master the controls, practice your maneuvers, and embark on thrilling aerial adventures throughout the vast game world.

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✎ Written by Timothy Payne
Tutorial writer for

When it comes to gaming, Timothy knows his stuff. Growing up as an avid gamer since he was a child, Timothy has devoted much of his time to mastering the art of gaming and discovering new strategies for success. His skills have earned him recognition as one of the top game tutorial writers for, an online resource dedicated to helping gamers level up their skillsets.

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