The Police Maverick, also known as the VCPD Maverick in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, is the Police adaptation of the civilian Maverick helicopter, and the first controllable Police Helicopter introduced in series when it debuted in Grand Theft Auto : Vice City.
The Police Maverick possess many characteristics of the preceeding Police Helicopter in Grand Theft Auto III. When flown by Police Units once the player obtains a 3 stars wanted level, the helicopter has an "invisible" 5.56mm machine gun on the fuselage (similar in both sound and power to the M-60), 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. The helicopter can also airdrop SWAT units on ropes in GTA III Era games starting with Vice City onward. In the GTA III Era games, (GTA III, GTA Vice City and GTA Liberty City Stories) the Police Maverick flown by the Police is actually a mesh - it's not solid and can go through buildings, without a chance of crashing either. 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 any way. In GTA III and GTA Liberty City Stories, the helicopters blow up upon contact with the player, this is possibly to stop players from riding it, or just trying to obtain it, but that is unlikely as there is no animation for the door opening.
The Police Maverick 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 or machine gun fire. A search light is also available on the GTA San Andreas rendition (see #Trivia).
GTA Vice City — GTA Vice City Stories
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. Like the Maverick, the Police Maverick originally featured two rotor blades instead of four.
With the exception of GTA San Andreas, two versions of the Police Maverick exist in all its appearances between GTA Vice City and GTA Vice City Stories. Airborne Police Mavericks operated by the Police feature its back doors slide back, but the same 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/cheat devices.
In GTA Vice City, GTA San Andreas and GTA Liberty City Stories, there is no visible Pilot flying the helicopter 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 ; Police Mavericks spawned using a cheat device, however, feature transparent windows. In GTA Vice City Stories, there is a pilot appearing as a normal Police Officer without any Pilot Gear.
The Police Maverick is in turn based on a redone Maverick, and as a result, features a rear slid-doors and a four-blade main rotor. In place of an "invisible" machine gun under the fuselage are 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 (M249 SAWs) instead.
The Police Maverick is slightly faster than a regular Maverick and can turn faster, thus giving it more maneuverability. Its design is based on that of the Bell 206.
In Grand Theft Auto V, the Police Maverick is based on the real-life American Eurocopter AS350B-2 A-Star, replacing the Bell 206 on which the beta Maverick was originally based. Features a rear slid-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.
- Occasionally, in GTA IV when you hit 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 you are directly below the helicopter when it crashes.
- In all of the GTA III Era games, after you get four stars or higher, two police helicopters will be sent after the player. (In GTA San Andreas this happens when you get five or more stars.)
- 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.
- 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.
- In GTA Vice City, there is no Pilot in the chopper and is "driving by itself" this was fixed in GTA Vice City Stories however as you can see a pilot and his weapons will become obtainable after taking down the helicopter.
- 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), L3 button (PS2) or Left Shift key (PC).
- 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 however.
- In GTA San Andreas, 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, and crashing the tank have the ability of damaging the Rhino.
- In GTA San Andreas and GTA Vice City Stories, the player is able to steal the Police Maverick chasing them on certain occasions.
- To ensure the player does not manage to gain control of an NPC Police Maverick in GTA Liberty City Stories, the helicopters are programmed to explode upon contact with the player, or fly higher than the player.
- Whilst all Police Mavericks have Police Radios, the GTA Liberty City Stories rendition is equipped with a conventional radio.
- The Police Maverick appears in Rockstar North's Manhunt 2, bearing the VCPD's color scheme.
- 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 safe-house from a considerable distance away from it.
- In GTA Vice City, AI Police Mavericks can be seen flying around without a wanted level. They are not solid and do not have any engine noise, for example, when you touch it you go right through it. They also can not be destroyed.
- Occasionally in Vice City Stories the Helicopters will keep ascending once destroyed until the game realizes the helicopter is destroyed.
- There is a glitch in GTA III, GTA Vice City, and GTA LCS that if the Police Maverick is blown up in two pieces 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, if the player shoots down a helicopter and it crashes into the water, it will keep spinning downward indefinitely until it gets so far away it vanishes, or the player gets their wanted level under 3 stars. If the player's wanted level goes below 3 stars, the Helicopter will rapidly ascend, flying up out of the water or through the ground, and head directly up into the sky before vanishing.
- 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.
- GTA Vice City Stories is the only GTA III Era game that you can see a Police Officer piloting the helicopter.
- In GTA Vice City and GTA Liberty City Stories, it is possible to spawn a slide-door Police Maverick. However, it will be invisible, and trying to enter it will crash the game, since the game will be looking for the missing door which 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.
- It is possible to hijack a slide-door 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.
- In the GTA III era, there was always a picture of a Police Maverick in the top-left corner of the every games' cover art (this is true for the North American cover art). The only GTA III Era game that didn't have this was GTA Advance.
- 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.
- In GTA Liberty City Stories, one of the Pilots is called "Jimmy". (Co-Pilot: Jimmy, can you keep this 'copter steady?").
- In GTA IV, if the two riflemen are killed Independently the Police Maverick will leave and return with two new riflemen in about a minute.
- 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 LCS, the Police Maverick can get throught to some solid thing, for example rock cliffs.
- In GTA San Andreas, If 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.)
- In GTA San Andreas, a Police Maverick will not shoot the player if they are inside any aircraft, it will only chase the player instead.
- In GTA Vice City, the machine gun actually fires from the back rather than under the belly.
- If you spawn the unobtainable slide door variant (through trainers only) and get in, 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.
- In GTA San Andreas, the A.I. controlled Police maverick may sometimes appear under the ground if you use the Jetpack to shake the maverick off multiple times.
- GTA Vice City
- GTA San Andreas
- On top of the LSPD rooftop in Pershing Square, Los Santos after completing the mission Learning to Fly.
- 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
- 1st Method - Only obtainable by sniping the pilot, making the helicopter slowly hover to the ground undamaged. It only works 5/10 times, which means in which 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 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.
- (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.
- Grand Theft Auto V
- Police Helicopter (GTA III)
- Buzzard 1
- Complementary information on the Police Maverick: