- "Now listen, you're going to have to learn how to fly."
- — Mike Toreno.
- "No, I ain't."
- — CJ.
- "Yes, actually, you are."
- — Mike Toreno.
CJ is told by Mike that he is earning a wanted level on his head, and it's time for him to do bigger tasks in order to save and release his brother Sweet from prison. He is told to buy the abandoned airstrip in Verdant Meadows, which costs $80,000, after purchasing the lot, he goes to the room above his safe house, and begins flying lessons. After completing the tests and earning his pilot's license (that can now grant him access to the restricted areas of the airports), he can start his flying missions, along with a call from Woozie from his casino.
Mike tells Carl to go buy the airstrip in Verdant Meadows. After CJ buys the property, flight school will be available. If he scores 70% or better on a test, another test will be available. He needs to get at least 70% for all of them for 100% completion of the game (though in the case of the flying school, completion is mandatory for simply being able to progress in the game's storyline). It also makes CJ a licensed pilot, with access to the airports, if he wasn't one before.
There are 10 tests that need to be completed. For a detailed walkthrough of the tests, see Pilot School Lessons.
- Unlike most other missions, you can save your game and even engage in other side missions such as race tournaments, dating, horseshoe-gathering, etc. in the midst of working towards completing all the challenges. However, Toreno will call you on a regular basis and harass you for not completing the training yet (following on from his earlier implication that he is always spying on Carl).
- It is strongly advised you save after every completed exercise. However remember that time elapses when you do this and Carl must eat/exercise, etc. Before beginning the flying lessons, it's advised that Carl park a vehicle in the nearby hangar to facilitate these occasional tangents, though a PCJ-600 will sometimes spawn near the entrance to the save point.
- Under most circumstances, the game will not allow you to crash during one of the exercises, unless you steer your plane/helicopter into the ocean to the north, in which case you will be wasted and end up at the hospital at El Quebrados.
- If the player leaves the airstrip and decides to free roam around San Andreas while the tests are not yet passed, the first three times a player leaves a vehicle, he will receive a call from Toreno, urging him to finish the test as soon as possible. The first call is encouraging him and calling Carl a coward, the second is a learn to fly persuasion, the third, and the most threatening of all, is when Toreno says that if CJ does not finish flying school, his brother Sweet will have a child murderer and a racist-killer in the cells next to him and Sweet's cellmate will be someone called "Horse-Cock Harry", who will rape Sweet.
- Although the driving school is also mandatory in order to unlock all available missions, pilot school is the only school that must be completed in order for the main storyline of the game to proceed, as the missions unlocked by the driving school are optional.
- The name of this mission may be a nod to the song "Learn to fly" by the Foo Fighters .
Flying School Phone Calls from Toreno
If you don't start the first test of the mission immediately and leave the area, or stop learning midway and travel around, Toreno will call CJ and attempt to persuade him to learn faster. He only calls three times.
CJ - Hey, wassup?
Toreno - Hey, how's the flying coming along?
CJ - Yeah, well shit man, I was gonna holla at you about that cause, you know, I'm...
Toreno - Will you listen to yourself? Admit it, you're scared.
CJ - Maybe just a little
Toreno - Until you've walked into the middle of Bedouin arms dealer's camp with nothing but a briefcase full of cash, you don't know the meaning of fear, okay?
CJ - Oh Yeah? Try going to the swap meet in Idlewood sometime.
Toreno - Learn to fly, Carl.
CJ - What do you want, Toreno?
Toreno - Well, what do you want, Carl? You want your brother out of jail?
CJ - Ok, listen, I'm trying man, I really am.
Toreno - I'm gonna let you in on a little secret, Carl. The one difference between those that tried and died, and those that still walk this Earth, is belief in self. Nothing is impossible, Carl. Beat your fears, focus your mind, and learn to fly!
CJ - Ok, ok, I'll... Toreno? Oh shit...
CJ - Toreno?
Toreno - Carl, learn to fly.
CJ - I'm on it man, I swear.
Toreno - Yeah, I'm on it man I swear, same old broken record Carl, but that's fine, because your brother's getting a new cell mate tonight. Horse Cock Harry. And I'm sending a present, little wedding present. Big tube of lube!
CJ - Shit dude, ok, ok, I swear man, I'm gonna be the best pilot!
Toreno - I'd love to hear you Carl, I can't hear you, all I can hear is your brother's love cries, as eight kilometers of cock finds it's way up his ass. Aooooowww - that's your brother, ok? No big problem.
CJ - Wait! Please, man!
Toreno - That was my last motivational speech, understand? Am I being too spiritual for you, Carl?
CJ - Ok man, I get the message.
Post mission phone call
Carl Johnson: Hello?
Wu Zi Mu: Carl, it's Woozie!
Carl Johnson: Hey, Woozie, man, what you been up to?
Wu Zi Mu: Come along and see for yourself. I got a little business proposition for you. Come over and see the setup, my friend.
Carl Johnson: OK, for sure, I like that.
Wu Zi Mu: Like it? You're gonna love it! It's the Four Dragons Casino in Las Venturas. I'll see you soon, yeah?
Carl Johnson: Yeah, OK.
After you complete the tests, you will unlock a Rustler, for finishing all the tests with bronze or above, a Stunt Plane, for all silver and a Hunter for all gold. Also, the missions N.O.E. and Fender Ketchup are unlocked, with the latter triggered by a phone call from Wu Zi Mu. This phone call also unlocks all remaining safehouses available for purchase in Las Venturas as well as the Four Dragons Casino save point.
By the time the tests are completed (often before the final test, in fact), Carl will gain enough flying skill to earn his pilots licence. At that point, he is (officially) allowed in the runway areas of the three major airports, all airplanes and helicopters are unlocked and available to fly, Carl is automatically equipped with a parachute should he ever have to bail from an aircraft (the events of Stowaway not with standing), and the flight-related race tournaments trigger point in Las Venturas becomes accessible. The Victim clothing store, which offers trendy clothes, is now open.