Grand Theft Auto IV: How to Fly a Plane

By MichaelG

Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 or Windows enabled PC

  • Grand Theft Auto IV

The only airplane flyable in GTA IV is a private jet.
i Avion Privée à l'Aéroport de Nice image by DIVINCENZO from

Grand Theft Auto IV was released on April 29, 2008 for consoles and on December 2, 2008 for Windows. Grand Theft Auto IV is a part of the widely popular and controversial Grand Theft Auto series that Rockstar Games created. The game is considered to be a "sandbox" styled game, leaving the player to explore and interact with a very open-ended world. The game also features a wide variety of vehicles for the player to control to accomplish missions or explore.

Locate an airplane. You best bet will be in the Francis International Airport on the far east side of Liberty City.

Enter the vehicle using the "Enter Vehicle" button. The plane will handle much like a slow car when on the ground and you will have to get it moving fast before it will ascend.

Taxi your plane to a clear strip of runway or a runway with the most room. To taxi your plane, carefully use a combination of the accelerate, reverse, and handbrake controls to move the plane slowly away from any obstacles or hazards.

Steer the plane so that it is fairly straight on the runway and will not veer into any obstacles before it takes off. Accelerate the plane and hold this until about halfway down the runway. Tilt the nose of the plane up by pulling back on your thumb-stick, pressing the walk back key on your keyboard or tilting your SIXAXIS PS3 controller.

Fly the plane away from the airport by using the normal vehicle movement controls. The plane will act much like a car but will create wider and slower turns.

Land the plane by locating a safe, level spot that's large and long enough to allow the plane to land and then slowly come to a rest. Tilt the nose down when the plane is moving fairly slowly and press the handbrake to begin decelerating.

Approach the landing strip by making the plane parallel or with the nose angled slightly up from the ground. Touch the plane's landing gear to the ground and continue holding down the decelerate button until the plane has come to a rest.

Exit the vehicle by pressing the same button used to enter the vehicle when the plane has come to a full stop.


When you are comfortable enough flying the plane, try doing stunts by rolling or making the plane loop. If you have purchased the downladable content packages for GTA IV, pick up a parachute before attempting to fly the plane just in case of any accidents. The plane's landing gear will automatically drop when the plane is moving slow enough.


While the plane's controls are the same as any other vehicle, you will have to be careful with making sharp turns or flying straight up into the air because you can lose control or stall the plane's engine. You may receive "wanted" level for stealing a plane and police helicopters will attempt to shoot you down.