|For the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City rendition, see VCN Maverick.|
The News Chopper, also known as the News Maverick and News Helicopter, is a helicopter appearing in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The helicopter is essentially the same as the VCN Maverick introduced in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City has its own version of this helicopter called the VCN Maverick. The VCN Maverick is obtainable through third party trainer programs in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories. It is worth noting the internal name of the News Chopper in GTA San Andreas is "vcnmav", suggesting GTA Vice City's VCN Maverick is reused for the News Chopper. The registration number on the tail of the helicopter is also identical to the one seen on the VCN Maverick.
The News Chopper is among the few vehicles that has no spawn point, therefore the player must try methods to obtain it. It only appears as a second chopper when you acquire a 4-star wanted level.
Method 1 : Police pursuits
- You must manage to acquire a Rhino Tank and a Minigun. Once you have both, get a wanted level of four stars or more and immediately head for Verdant Meadows. Use the Rhino to kill nearby pursuing officers, then briefly leave the tank and use the minigun to shoot the News Chopper down. Use the Rhino to push the wreck inside your hangar, then save the game to lose your wanted level. Upon opening the hangar, an intact News Chopper will spawn in the hangar.
- Another method consists of using the Jetpack to reach the top the construction sites cranes (found in Market, Los Santos ; Doherty, San Fierro ; The Clown's Pocket, Las Venturas). Move around onto the crane and both the Police Maverick and the News Chopper should fly very close to you. When it flies by you, quickly hijack it, fly away, park into the Verdant Meadows Hangar and save to lose your wanted level. Be careful of any chasing Hydra that might shoot you down before reaching the hangar.
Method 2 : Races
- There is an aerial race (Whirly Bird Waypoint) that starts from the Las Venturas Airport that requires you to fly a News Chopper through the checkpoints. Instead of completing the race, fly to Verdant Meadows hangar, park it inside, then wait for the time to run out to fail the race.
- Before the game's release, the News Chopper was a VCN Maverick. This is proven by examining the game's DFF and TXD files for it, both of which are named vcnmav.
- It can be noted that during police pursuits, it flies higher than Police Mavericks, making it harder to shoot down
- It is, however, advised to keep it intact as only one Police Maverick will come after the player, making pursuits easier then.
- Usually when a News Chopper is shot down, no more will turn up and are replaced with another Police Maverick. However on some rare occasions, up to six or more News Choppers can spawn after the previous ones have been shot down. It is known to most likely happen with a wanted level of four stars or higher when standing on a cliff directly south of Shady Creeks.
- It is possible that this helicopter was cut from the final version of Grand Theft Auto IV; a Maverick with a Weazel News ad can be seen on Television. This Maverick is a two-bladed helicopter too, like the original Maverick.