Michael and Trevor are summoned to Madrazo's house in La Fuente Blanca, where Madrazo has a job for them. Madrazo's cousin Javier is going to testify against him; Madrazo wants Javier killed and sensitive documents retrieved.
The player takes control of Michael. Michael drives to the Galileo Observatory where Madrazo has left a black Burrito with a heavy rifle mounted in the rear. Michael must use the rifle to shoot down the Air Emu Shamal carrying Javier into Los Santos International Airport. The high-powered rifle uses a unique display that places a red square before the jet, showing the location where Michael must shoot in order to compensate for the distance if he is to hit the engine. The Shamal first appears in the upper left-hand quadrant of the rifle's display (when using the gun, the radar is hidden so it is very difficult to see the plane at first), then crosses left to right towards the airport. Michael must shoot the jet three times before it lands.
Once the aircraft has been damaged, the player is switched to Trevor. Using a Sanchez, Trevor chases the descending and smoking jet from the Galileo Observatory through Great Chaparral, Harmony and Sandy Shores. While the player has some freedom over what path to use, the pursuit does feature at least one jump that Trevor must successfully make in order to keep up with the plane. Once the aircraft crashes, Trevor must kill Javier and retrieve the sensitive documents contained onboard the Shamal.
After Trevor has obtained the documents, the player is switched once again to Michael. Michael takes the van from the area surrounding Galileo Observatory, then destroys the vehicle. Afterwards, Michael starts to return to La Fuente Blanca in order to meet up with Trevor and give the documents to Madrazo. However, Michael receives a phone call from Trevor revealing that he has other ideas. Trevor asks Michael to meet him instead at Stoner Sandworks, north of La Fuente Blanca along Senora Road. Trevor arrives soon after Michael. Trevor states that he went to discuss payment with Madrazo, which led to an argument. Trevor then opens the trunk of his vehicle to reveal he has kidnapped Madrazo's wife Patricia. With Patricia in tow, Michael and Trevor leave the sandworks and go into hiding.
The player is automatically switched to Franklin after this mission is completed.
- Go to the observatory. - (Michael)
- Get in the van. - (Michael)
- Shoot the plane's engine. - (Michael)
- Follow the plane and get the package. - (Trevor)
- Silence Javier. - (Trevor)
- Go inside the plane. - (Trevor)
- Leave the area. - (Michael)
- Destroy the van. - (Michael)
- Go to Martin's house. - (Michael)
- Meet Trevor at the cement works. - (Michael)
Gold Medal Objectives
- Floor It - Reach top speed on the Sanchez.
- Glued to the Seat - Don't fall off the Sanchez during the chase.
- One Two Three - Shoot down the plane with 3 shots only.
- Mission Time - Complete the mission in 9:45
Daily Rag Newspaper
"A private jet bound for Liberty City has crashed in the Senora Desert killing everybody on board, in what police are calling extremely suspicious circumstances. The plane was carrying Javier Madrazo, a key witness in a case against a Los Santos based drug cartel, whose cousin Martin Madrazo, is alleged to be an organized crime kingpin."
- @jillsthenewblack - "Plane crash in Senora Desert either engine malfunction or really lame suicide bomber. TOO SOON???? ;)"
- @manolodeoro2 - "Anyone know the deal with Javier? The hijo de puta won't answer my calls or emails."
- Michael and Trevor are both exiled from Los Santos, and Michael's mansion and Floyd's Apartment will both be locked. Their separate garages can still be accessed, but at the risk of being attacked by Martin Madrazo's men.
- The exile also affects any side missions located in Los Santos. Because of this, any that aren't yet completed will have to be postponed until later in the game.
- Michael must use Trevor's trailer as a safehouse. This creates a rare situation in the game where both playable main characters will be in the same vicinity while not on a mission, without the player having to orchestrate the circumstances. Their interactions will be unfriendly and the AI-controlled character will soon leave the vicinity. If the AI-controlled character gets into a vehicle's driver seat, the player-controlled character can enter that vehicle's passenger seat before the AI drives off, then the player can instantly switch to the driver and go for a drive with both characters and watch the argument between them. If the vehicle stops at any point, the character in the passenger seat will exit and walk off.
- Due to Trevor and Michael spawning so close to each other, the game's mechanism in which the computer-controlled character automatically asks the player-controlled character if they want to hang out is temporarily disabled. This goes for Franklin as well; if Franklin goes out to Sandy Shores and encounters Trevor or Michael, they'll exchange pleasantries, but the computer controlled character will indicate they're busy and leave the area. Similarly, the three protagonists can no longer phone each other and ask to hang out.
- This also creates a unique situation in which Trevor or Michael are able to obtain each other's default vehicles. For this to happen, leave the character's default vehicle parked in front of the trailer and leave the vicinity and steal another vehicle. Return to the trailer where the default vehicle should still spawn. Park and exit the new vehicle and then switch to the other character. If the second character is in or near the trailer, he will interact with the other character as depicted above, only the other character will drive away in the vehicle he stole, rather than his default, but the default vehicle will still be parked and available for the other player to take it.
- During the exile, both Michael and Trevor can access whatever vehicles are stored in the trailer's garage.
- If either Michael or Trevor attempt to enter the city, they will receive a warning call from Martin, before endless waves of Madrazo Cartel gang members spawn and attempt to hunt them down until the protagonist retreats back to Blaine County. If either Michael or Trevor is killed in Los Santos, they will respawn at the hospital in Sandy Shores. At this point, Franklin is the only protagonist that can enter and leave Los Santos freely without the risk of being attacked by Madrazo's henchmen. Michael and Trevor can still enter the city safely by way of submersible (such as during the nuclear waste collection side-mission), but using a boat (as in the mission to collect submarine pieces) is risky as they may be shot at if they get too close to shore.
- The game will display a warning message if Trevor or Michael get too close to the city in advance of Martin's phone call or his men spawning, allowing a safe retreat. This also applies on the water.
- If the player gains a wanted level of 2 stars or more, Madrazo's men will retreat and the player will have to fight the LSPD instead. Once the wanted level has been lost, Madrazo's men will return.
- The closest major location that Michael or Trevor can access without triggering the warning is the Galileo Observatory, as one of Trevor's random locations (when being switched to) is near here.
- The next mission, "Minor Turbulence", does not trigger immediately afterwards. Franklin may need to wander around L.S. for a bit before it appears. The mission "Deep Inside", however, is immediately available. Until "Minor Turbulence" is completed, however, the ability to switch characters is disabled.
- Michael's wardrobe will be limited to a dirty gray suit, a white sleeveless shirt and the DLC extra clothes. However, the player can still buy clothes for Michael and those will appear in Trevor's trailer wardrobe.
- Javier Madrazo - Killed by Trevor on orders from Martin Madrazo.
- The pilot of the Shamal - Killed in the crash caused by Michael.
- "Caida Libre" is Spanish for "free fall". This may be a reference to the GTA San Andreas mission Freefall.
- While Trevor is chasing the falling airplane, if the player passes Trevor's Trailer, Trevor will say a random phrase towards Ron (e.g. "RON! You better be working")
- In the beta, Franklin was supposed to fill Trevor's role, confirmed by a screenshot. In the original release (unknown whether this happens in other versions), when "Caida Libre" is unlocked, Franklin still receives a text from Michael instructing him to go to Madrazo's farm. However, no green mission icon appears and if Franklin goes there, he is turned away. Michael's text actually indicates that Trevor is also being brought in for the job, suggesting all three characters might have been involved at some point.
- Originally, this mission was going to be called "Vinewood Babylon".
- One randomly generated comment Michael makes when he mans the gun is that the plane is coming from the southwest of Downtown. This is actually an error as the plane first appears coming from either the south or southeast.
- When Michael shoots out the Shamal's engine, the pilot alerts the control tower that he believes the situation is caused by a bird-strike. This perceived emergency would have been similar to US Airways Flight 1549. In 2009, the flight struck Canadian Geese shortly after take-off from New York, causing engine failure and forcing the pilot to land the plane safely on the Hudson River.
- If the player (as Michael) jumps onto the truck bed before Trevor drives off, he will start insulting Michael with his usual lines ("You hideous mistake", etc.).
- Sometimes if replaying as Trevor, there's a chance that the Bodhi he uses will pass through another Bodhi.
- The weapon that Michael uses to take down the plane is similar to the weapon that Bruce Willis uses in the movie The Jackal.
- For some reason, Michael can only use his special ability before the first successful shot. After this, it will be unavailable, even if it was fully-charged previously.
- When Trevor says Michael was scouting the house for a heist, it is a reference to a cut beta heist known as the The Sharmoota Job, where Michael and Trevor would dress as either clowns or mimes and steal Aztec artifacts from Madrazo's house and kidnap Patricia.
- While passing through Sandy Shores, people are often seen recording the falling plane with their phones, making remarks and screaming.
- Right after the auto switch to Franklin, it is still possible to hang out with Michael immediately. Oddly, Michael will be waiting in some spot within Los Santos area, but the hot spots to hang out will be in Blaine County, so the only venues available are Darts in the Yellow Jack Inn, and drinks at The Mojito Inn and the Hen House. However, after dropping him off, he won't be able to be switched to him, even though he's nearby.
- It is also possible to roam freely in Los Santos when hanging out with Michael, without any henchmen coming to kill him.
- The sniper rifle in the van maybe a reference to the 2003 movie, S.W.A.T., where a LAPD A109 is shot down by the antagonist using a set up similar to the van.
- Sometimes, after restarting from when Michael's attempts to shoot down the plane, the gun in the van's scope won't zoom. Killing Michael and restarting the mission will fix this (confirmed on the enhanced version).
- When Trevor takes out his phone at the end of the mission, the interface of the phone will be red, regardless of the player's choice.
- Patricia's kidnapping was originally suppose to take place after this mission in the heist The Sharmoota Job before it was moved to the end of this mission with it happening off screen.
- Strangely the plane flies over the Sandy Shores Airfield, completely ignoring it, while the pilot keeps complaining that they won't make it to any runway and have to crash.
- The rifle Michael uses is located right next to Galileo Observatory, yet when the player actually takes control of the weapon, the view through the electronic scope makes it appear to be atop Weazel Plaza in Rockford Hills, a considerable distance away. Most obviously, the Del Perro Freeway is visible in the bottom right of the screen after activating the rifle.