|For the Police Helicopters in GTA III and GTA Chinatown Wars, see Police Helicopter (GTA III) and Helicopter (GTA CW) respectively.|
For the medical helicopter in GTA V which shares its GXT name with the Police Maverick, see Air Ambulance.
The Police Maverick, also known as the VCPD Maverick in GTA: Vice City Stories, or abbreviated as Polmav, is a police adaptation of the civilian Maverick helicopter, and the first controllable Police Helicopter introduced in the series, debuting in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
In GTA Vice City and GTA Liberty City Stories, the Police Maverick flown by cops is actually a mesh - it's not solid and can go through buildings, without a chance of crashing either. The uncontrollable Police Maverick piloted by cops still has the handling and other characteristics from the uncontrollable helicopter in GTA III, although it uses the polygon model from the Police Maverick available to the player. If you were to press the enter vehicle button near it, the player would not try to get in the helicopter, therefore it is not proper as it cannot be obtained in anyway. In GTA III and GTA Liberty City Stories, to ensure the player is not going to obtain one, police-flown helicopters blow up upon contact with the player.
Like the preceding Police Helicopter in GTA III, pursuing Police Maverick appears obtains a 3 stars wanted level, the helicopter has an "invisible" 5.56mm machine gun on the fuselage (sounding like an M-60, but with much less power), as well as a searchlight, and a loud speaker (used by the Police to address the player from the skies) only absent in the GTA Vice City Stories rendition. Unlike its GTA III counterpart, the Police Maverick can airdrop SWAT units on ropes at 4 stars wanted level.
The Police Maverick flyable by the player controls similarly to a normal Maverick, differing only by its ability to pitch steeper than a regular Maverick (especially in games prior to GTA IV). In addition, Police Mavericks obtainable by the player will have no microphone, no ropes to rappel down, nor a mounted machine gun. A search light is also available on the GTA San Andreas rendition (see #Trivia).
Like the Maverick, the helicopter has made repeated appearances in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories.
In GTA Vice City, GTA San Andreas and GTA Vice City Stories, the helicopter is usually always parked on the roof of the main police station of the city. In GTA Liberty City Stories, it is also not available in a normal game, but can be obtained by a third party trainer program, finishing the game at 100% completion will reward the player with the Police Maverick.
With the exception of GTA San Andreas, two versions of the Police Maverick exist in all of its appearances between GTA Vice City and GTA Vice City Stories. The back doors on airborne Police Mavericks slide back, but the back doors of Police Mavericks available to the player swing open instead. In GTA Vice City Stories, the slide-door variant retains GTA Vice City's green and white livery while the swing-door variant is only available in a olive/gold and white livery. The slide-door variant is not normally available to the player, but it is possible to spawn a slide-door Maverick in these games using trainers or cheat devices.
In GTA Vice City, GTA San Andreas and GTA Liberty City Stories, the inside cabin is empty and there is no visible Pilot flying the Police Maverick when it is flown by an NPC. This visual goof was rectified in GTA Liberty City Stories by simply having the windows of the helicopter blackened, obscuring the interior, but this was more likely to create the same effect as with its predecessor (in GTA III, the windows of the helicopter are tinted black, as there was no interior in that chopper model). Its windows aren't black when flown by the player, though they are if the player manages to steal it from the police by reaching it via cheat devices. In GTA Vice City Stories, the VCPD Maverick has a pilot appearing as a normal Police Officer without any pilot gear, and upon destruction of the chopper the pilot will drop a Pistol and a Nightstick.
HD Universe (GTA IV)
The Police Maverick is in turn based on a redone Maverick, and as a result, features rear sliding-doors and a four-blade main rotor. Its design is based on that of the Bell 206, identical to the Maverick. It travels and turns slightly faster than a regular Maverick, thus giving it more maneuverability. Like almost all law enforcement vehicles in GTA IV, the Police Maverick doesn't feature a radio.
Replacing the orignal "invisible" machine gun under the fuselage, there are now two Police Officers seated on both sides of the helicopter, programmed to shoot the player with M4 Carbines Rifles ; its ability to deploy NOOSE Tactical Response Unit Officers has also been dropped in the game. In The Ballad Of Gay Tony, the Police Officers will be armed with Advanced MGs instead.
Also, unlike other helicopters in Grand Theft Auto IV, the Police Maverick doesn't spawn anywhere in the base game and can only be obtained by being stolen from the police. (See Locations below for methods to steal one)
The livery is loosely based on those used on a previous generation of New York City Police helicopters, but with a reversed color scheme.
HD Universe (GTA V)
In Grand Theft Auto V, the Police Maverick, unlike its civilian version, is based on the real-life French Eurocopter AS350B, replacing the Bell 206 on which the beta Police Maverick was originally based. It is the first Police Maverick that does not resemble the Maverick at all, making its name somewhat incorrect.
It features rear slide-doors and a three-blade main rotor. It is used for higher level pursuits, finding illegal drug storage and other such crimes. One or two police officers will aim at the player with customized Carbine Rifles. The helicopter is also equipped with a high-intensity spotlight, capable of highlighting targets. It is also fitted with a camera, which in GTA Online can be used by the co-pilot to tag players for the pilot to see. Unlike previous renditions, features 2 mounted winches, used to deploy officers, like Vice City.
These vehicles can spawn on top of Police buildings with helipads or seen patrolling the skies of Los Santos. Can hold 4 people, thought if they starts to deploy by the winches, 4 NOOSE units descends from the vehicle. These are armed with Carbine Rifles and can aim the player with the search light. They can lose the light if the player shoots at it and the new feature is that helicopters will crash if the tail rotor is destroyed (unfortunately, the tail rotor is no longer solid, due to an update).
The official usage of the Police Maverick is in the mission Eye In The Sky, where Trevor Philips uses a fitted camera on it. According to its functionality and the pilot, this camera allows the user to identify individuals by reading RFID transmitters placed in 2012 San Andreas driver licenses. Is marked with the zoom bar, the direction, the height and the LSPD name written in a corner. It can activate a "microphone" to hear distant conversations and is implemented with thermal vision (much like Sniper Rifles in missions). Limitations of the device includes a signal lost when the objective is hiding, unless thermal vision is used. This feature wasn't applied during chases, likely for gameplay balances.
The livery is based on of the design of the recently new livery used on the Los Angeles Police helicopters.
GTA Vice City
GTA San Andreas
- On top of the LSPD Headquarters rooftop in Pershing Square, Los Santos after completing the mission Learning to Fly.
- Can be acquired in mid-flight during a police chase by climbing on the top of a crane and hijack it when it flies by.
- Can also be acquired during Breaking the Bank at Caligula's. The player is, at some point, tasked to parachute to a rooftop and use it to escape (though this is optional). It is possible to store it simply by parking it inside the Verdant Meadows hangar then walking onto the red marker to complete the mission.
GTA Liberty City Stories
- This helicopter does not spawn anywhere and can be only obtained through the use of Cheat Devices or Action Replay codes. The Police Maverick chasing the player at a three star wanted level is, in fact, a different helicopter.
GTA Vice City Stories
- On roof of the Downtown police station (after the mission From Zero to Hero is completed).
- On the roof of the Washington Beach police station (before and after the mission From Zero To Hero).
GTA IV + Episodes from Liberty City
NOTE: The Police Maverick does not spawn on top of police stations like in previous games, so the only way to obtain one is by using the Helicopter Sniping Trick using one one of two methods:
- 1st Method - Obtainable by sniping the pilot, making the helicopter slowly hover to the ground undamaged. It only works 50% of the time; the rest of the time the Police Maverick will spin rapidly around in circles, hitting the ground with fierce force and exploding. Also obtainable by an even more frustrating process in which the helicopter is disabled at a low enough altitude that all occupants live, and then the Police Maverick is pushed into a safehouse Parking Spot. That method probably works less often than the previous. Other than that, you can only fly the Police Maverick in multiplayer Race Mode.
- 2nd method - Go to middle of the pond in Middle Park and snipe people until you get a three star wanted level. When the helicopter appears, shoot the Pilot from the side. If it falls in shallow water, it is yours. Since the Police Officers will not try to swim to the island to get you, you will have plenty of chances to get the Police Maverick before the NOOSE Annihilators appear.
The Ballad of Gay Tony
- (Multiplayer only) On the rooftop helipad of the East Holland police station in Algonquin.
- During the mission "Not So Fast", you can steal a Police Maverick when you have to climb back on to the roof to get back in Yusuf's Buzzard by waiting a few seconds, when a Police Maverick will land on the roof.
- (Hospital) building. Close to the Towing Impound Lot. (Medical Version)
- Vespucci Canals on Prosperity Street - On top of the police station.
- On top of the Rancho Police Station (sometimes an unarmed Buzzard will spawn there).
- On the top of Mission Row Police Station (sometimes an unarmed Buzzard will spawn there).
- Sometimes found in the same locations mentioned above.
- Will spawn more frequently when you or other players that are close to these locations have a 3 star wanted level or higher being pursued by Police Mavericks as this will work as a spawn seed.
- In GTA Vice City if Tommy shoots down a pursuing Police Maverick and is busted or wasted near the same moment the Maverick explodes, Tommy will sometimes automatically regain a 4 star wanted level if he respawns at a Police Station or Hospital in the vicinity of the wrecked Maverick.
- In all games in the 3D Universe, a glitch occurs if the Police Maverick is destroyed and is falling to the ground, and the player activates the "Lower Wanted Level Cheat Code" or "Never Wanted Cheat Code" - The helicopter will fly back into the air like nothing even happened. This only happens if the player's wanted level goes under three stars.
- In GTA Vice City and GTA Liberty City Stories, while it is possible to spawn the slide-door Police Maverick that pursues the player, it will be invisible, and trying to enter it will crash the game, since the game will be looking for the missing door that does not exist on the helicopter. Even if it is controlled, it cannot be flown as pressing the "forward" key does nothing. It otherwise behaves like a normal helicopter, and it can be destroyed, either with the use of weapons or a cheat code.
- If spawning and entering the unobtainable slide door variant (through trainers only), the pilot seat is actually in the passenger seat in the back and the player can't take off, only hover. It has a breakable tail and the chopper always is too heavy, causing it to sink. The helicopter also lacks the rotors.
- The Police Maverick appears in Rockstar North's Manhunt 2, bearing the VCPD's color scheme.
- In GTA Vice City, the machine gun actually fires from the back rather than under the belly.
- In GTA Vice City, the red light on the back of airborne Police Mavericks is dislocated, and remain in the same place as its predecessor.
- Police Mavericks can be seen flying around without a wanted level. They are not solid and do not have any engine noise. They also can not be destroyed, and their rotors are static.
- In the beta version of GTA San Andreas, there were LSPD Police Mavericks.
- GTA San Andreas is the only GTA game to date that lets the player turn on its powerful search light, but its the direction can only be controlled in the PC version - in console versions, it moves in the opposite direction to the movement of the helicopter. The light can only be turned on at night by pressing the left analog stick (Xbox), button (PS2) or Horn button (Default: Caps-Lock or H) (PC). The searchlight is also in Grand Theft Auto V, but it is a much less powerful searchlight than normal AI-controlled Police Mavericks. It can be turned on by pressing on the right D-Pad.
- This function is unavailable on the mobile version of GTA San Andreas, due to the action button being unavailable. However, if the player connects a gamepad to his/her device and presses the action/sub-mission button, the searchlight can be turned on.
- An easy way to take down a Police Maverick (or any other helicopter) in GTA San Andreas without using any rockets, is to shoot the rotor to which the blades are attached to with a sniper rifle. If the player hits the rotor directly, the helicopter will start smoking black smoke and then spinning out of control until it hits the ground and finally explodes, similar to what happens when a rocket hits it. This also works in GTA V
- If the player manages to steal the Police Maverick in GTA San Andreas while it is in flight, the helicopter will remain hostile. For example, if the player parks the helicopter and gets out, the helicopter's underbelly will shoot at the player from the ground; this is due to programming limitations.
- Also, if the wanted level is less than 4, a maximum of 4 SWAT Officers will spawn near the parked helicopter.
- In GTA San Andreas there is a glitch only on the Xbox and PC version. If the player does a replay then the Police Maverick will fly away after the replay is done or exited.
- in GTA San Andreas, the Pilot, Gunner and Co-Pilot are "Jim", "Dave", "Ned", and "John" respectively. (Jim: There he is kill him, John! John: Why do I always do the fuckin' killing?!") and (John: Jim, you see anything? Jim: Over there!! shoot him!) And (Hey, I can see my house from here!) (Dave, will you shut the hell up? You, stop!!) GTA San Andreas Police Quotes.
- The mounted gun oddly bypasses any coding that would make the object/character invincible. For instance, it will damage the player even if the "Invincibility" cheat is activated. It also can damage a Rhino, which would be impossible with any other firearm; only molotovs, flamethrowers, explosives, and crashing the tank have the ability of damaging it.
- If the player is standing on the Police helicopter for too long while the helicopter is shooting at the player, it may shoot itself down (this can only be done with Jetpack).
- The A.I. controlled Police Maverick may sometimes appear under the ground if using the Jetpack to shake the Maverick off multiple times.
- Despite a news article mentioning that the LCPD didn't acquire Helicopters until 2001, Police Mavericks appear in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, which is set in 1998.
- It is possible to hijack an AI-controlled Police Maverick in GTA Liberty City Stories, but only with a cheat device. When the player enters it, the game will show "HELICOPTER" on the bottom right of the screen. Interestingly enough, the gunner will continue to shoot the player. This helicopter has several unique properties - it is extremely responsive, has different flight characteristics and cannot be blown up with a cheat. It also retains its unique damage system and can pass through buildings and water unaffected. If the player stores it in a garage it will lose these properties and become invisible again.
- One of the pilots is called "Jimmy". (Co-Pilot: Jimmy, can you keep this 'copter steady?").
- Whilst all Police Mavericks have Police Radios, the GTA Liberty City Stories rendition obtainable through cheat devices is equipped with a conventional radio.
- In GTA Vice City, the Police Maverick that chases the player is invulnerable to any forms of weapons but very vulnerable to the Rocket Launcher. Unlike other vehicles that explode into a black object, the Police Maverick explodes into pieces like glass. The destruction of the Police Maverick awards the player $250 and half wanted star.
- In GTA Vice City, getting into the Police Maverick before unlocking the next island will result in the game crashing. The helicopter will sound like it's starting up, but it will freeze and the helicopter will be on fire. This glitch is fixed in the 1.1 version (Steam).
- Occasionally in GTA IV, when the player hits the Police Maverick with a rocket in a specific place, such as the rotor blades or the tail, it will lean forward with the nose and plummet down, and explode upon impact with the ground. This is especially dangerous when standing directly below the helicopter when it crashes.
- There is a Glitch involving the Police Maverick in Grand Theft Auto IV where once Niko gets out, the helicopter will start flying away and fall once it is realized that there is no pilot. This is because the game still reads the helicopter as AI-Controlled. Holding Y (Xbox 360) or Triangle (PS3) to shut off the engine will prevent this. This will no longer happen when the player goes back to the safehouse from a considerable distance away from it.
- In GTA IV and V, if the two riflemen are killed independently the Police Maverick will leave and return with two new riflemen in about a minute.
- In GTA V, Police Mavericks may stop following players in order to refuel.
- In the beta of GTA V, the Police Maverick was originally modelled after the in-game Maverick, similarly to previous renditions. It can be seen in early trailers. It was possibly re-designed to match the real life LAPD police helicopters.
- Sometimes, in GTA V, after an helicopter lands, the pilot will be alive (helicopter is still intact, engine won't work), it will be locked and the pilot remains in it, alive. Pointing a gun at him will make him flinch, although he will remain in the helicopter still. For example, the helicopter crashes into a suspect in a Jet, the helicopter might just stop working, but the pilot will stay in it and it will float down.
- In GTA V and GTA Online, Police Mavericks have a tendency to spawn from absolute nowhere very close and in sight of the player; this can easily be noticed if the player is about to lose a 3+ star wanted level, or by flying in the sky.
- In GTA V, there is a strange thing to note, despite the helicopter can only carry four persons in normal gameplay, when the police helicopter lowers the NOOSE down on ropes, it lowers 4 men down, that would total to 5 people in the helicopter.
- It would have been more logical if they used the Annihilator as it fits 6 people and has NOOSE decals on it, however it lacks winches.
- In GTA V, out of scripted events (i.e. during missions), Police officers never use the Police Maverick like they did in GTA IV. It is always used by the NOOSE.
- In GTA V, the player can very rarely here quotes being read from the Police Maverick while on foot in a chase, they will say things like "LSPD, hands up" and "Stop right there". They sound more muffled than the quotes read from the LSPD Cruisers.
- Police Helicopter (GTA III)
- Buzzard 1
- Complementary information on the Police Maverick: