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The HVY Skylift is a large heavy-lift helicopter featured as a mission-only vehicle in The Ballad of Gay Tony, Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online.


The Ballad of Gay Tony

The Skylift is strongly based on the Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane/Aircrane, but with the cockpit bent down and the landing gears extended.

The Skylift is one of the largest helicopters available in the game, as its general appearance is much longer, taller and wider than any of the traditional helicopters (on par with that of the Leviathan from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas). The vehicle is unique as it has a large magnet under the rotor that allow it to lift large vehicles. However, this feature is, like the Leviathan, mission-exclusive and not used in normal gameplay.

The helicopter is only available in a blue color with white markings, reading "Liberty Sky-Lift" and "LC2". Its rotor blades have a black-white pattern with the same yellow color at the end of each blade. Its interior is detailed and features a large flight instrument, as well as a set of stair for access and three seats just like the real-life Skycrane, yet it only holds two people and uses conventional side doors.

Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online

The Skylift returns in Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online bearing its appearance from TBoGT, albeit appearing in a grey color instead of blue, as well as without markings. In the enhanced version, it also features a new interior with special dials and radar systems.

The Skylift uses the same textures as the Cuban 800, albeit with the omission of the "CUBAN 800" stencil.

Current Design Gallery

Version History Gallery


The Ballad of Gay Tony

Due to its enormous weight, the Skylift is easily the slowest helicopter in the game. Its handling is stiffer and has low take-off and forward speed. The helicopter takes a lot of time in gaining altitude and easily loses altitude when descending too fast due to its mass, as well as having a slow movement when maneuvering the helicopter (by only yawing to approximately 90 degrees on a side takes roughly 7-8 seconds). Landing the helicopter in a busy street or an area surrounded by buildings is a challenge, due to the helicopter's sheer size and the rather large main rotor, which easily collides with street lamps and nearby buildings.

An advantage of the helicopter is that it can take a few RPGs or Buzzard rockets before catching fire. Similarly, the Skylift is too heavy to lose control when a vehicle hits the helicopter's blades, usually resulting in it being pushed away with ease while the Skylift remains steady (except if the vehicle is another Skylift).

The Skylift is powered by two large turboshaft engines, powering the six-blade main rotor. The tail carries the large transmission shaft that is connected to the tail rotor. The Skylift's engine sound is very similar to that of the Annihilator, only heavier due to the large blades.

TBoGT Overview

Aircraft Statistics - Grand Theft Auto IV
Take-Off Speed
(0-60 knots in Seconds)
Top Speed
(mph / kmh / knots)
Engine Type Engine Location Mass
(kg / lbs)
N/A 99 / 160 / 86 N/A N/A 15000 / 33069
Website Statements
N/A N/A Twin turboshaft engines, 6-bladed rotor Middle Cannot be observed

Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online

The Skylift retains its properties as in TBoGT. However, due to the game's physics, the helicopter's handling feels slightly responsive and lighter than in its previous appearance, since its mass has been decreased. As with every aircraft in Grand Theft Auto V, the helicopter is rather fragile and may have its engines smoking with sustained gunfire or collisions.

The engine sound is the same with many transport helicopters such as the Maverick, the Police Maverick and the Swift, only with a faster pace due to the increased number of blades.

GTA V/GTA Online Overview

Aircraft Statistics - Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online
Take-Off Speed
(0-60 knots in Seconds)
Top Speed
(mph / kmh / knots)
Vertical Climb/ Descent Rate
Engine Type Engine Location Mass
(kg / lbs)
Fuel Tank
Size (litres)
N/A 99 / 160 / 86 N/A N/A N/A 10000 / 22046 100
Website Statements [?]
Observed / First-Person Airspeed Indicator (Enhanced version)
N/A N/A N/A Twin turboshaft engines, 6-bladed rotor Middle Cannot be observed Cannot be observed
Rockstar Games Social Club

Image Gallery

The Ballad of Gay Tony

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto Online


Prominent Appearances in Missions

The Ballad of Gay Tony

Grand Theft Auto V

  • The Skylift makes an appearance in the mission Sidetracked, where Trevor or Michael uses it to pick up train carriages to use in the obvious approach of The Big Score. The electromagnet mounted on it, unlike in TBoGT, can be used by pressing right on the D-Pad, with behavior similar to the hook on the Cargobob.
  • The Skylift also appears in the Bank Bailout base jump where it transports a motorcycle to the top of the Maze Bank Tower for the player to ride on for the jump. It is unobtainable by normal means, such as shooting the pilot out of the helicopter, as weapons are disabled for the jump.

Grand Theft Auto Online

Air Freight Cargo
Casino Work

Notable Owners


The Skylift appears as a mission-only vehicle in all of its appearances, however the player can obtain it in some of its appearances through tricks or glitches.

The Ballad of Gay Tony

The helicopter can be obtained with a minor exploit involving chasing Yusuf Amir and retrieving the Skylift after the mission For the Man Who Has Everything. The easiest method to use for this involves spawning a Buzzard as soon as he says "have fun with it", chasing the Skylift, and shooting it down over a large area, where it can be stolen. If the player is quick enough, the Skylift would have the subway wagon still attached to it.

When the Skylift is obtained, it can be saved at a safehouse as long as it has a lot of space (at least two wheels in the yellow chalked spot, the best one being the Middle Park East Safehouse). The magnet doesn't work, simply because it isn't intended to be obtainable, so there is no animation for it working (except during 'For the Man Who Has Everything').

Due to a 2012 patch by Rockstar, the Skylift is no longer obtainable in the mission For the Man Who Has Everything on the PS3 version of the game. The only way to get the helicopter on the PS3 is in the mission Caught with your Pants Down.

In fact, you can acquire the helicopter from Caught with your Pants Down without cheat codes, though you'd need an explosive shotgun and sticky bombs. A video illustrating such method can be seen here.

Grand Theft Auto V

  • Can be kept after completing the mission Sidetracked, but is unable to be stored.
    • Originally, the helicopter could be saved in the original version by storing it at a helipad, as shown here. However this was patched.[vague]

Grand Theft Auto Online

  • A Skylift is used in an Air Freight Cargo Sell Mission.
  • Can be kept after completing the Casino Work "One Armed Bandits". However, it cannot be stored inside a Hangar.
  • The Skylift was originally found in the Content Creator. However, it was removed.



  • "Skylift" is a parody of "Skycrane", the real-life counterpart's name.

The Ballad of Gay Tony

  • In the Beta, the Skylift had much resemblance to the Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane, evidenced by the flat body depicted in the TBoGT trailer and a promotional screenshot. However, the cockpit had a different design as well, lacking the frames on the windshield and having larger windows below it.
  • In the files, the registration code actually reads "LC2-K", but the letter "K" is ommited. The beta model, however, had the full registration on the sides.
  • The marking "Liberty Sky-Lift" might be a parody of "Erickson Air-Crane", the manufacturer and main operator of the S-64, suggesting it might be the operator of the Skylift.
  • As heard on the police scanner, the Skylift is manufactured by HVY.
  • There is a second variant of the vehicle which is the version with the Subway Car attached to it. This one is used in the mission "For the Man Who Has Everything".
  • One of the cinematic cameras seen in the Skylift is a first person view from the helicopter (similar to a standard camera view from a vehicle), but is slighty angled to the right. The same applies to the Yankee in The Lost and Damned (open bed variant).

Grand Theft Auto V

  • In the mission Sidetracked, when attaching the flat car, a magnet extension appears from nowhere to accommodate the carriage onto the vehicle. This version could be kept after the mission, although the magnet extension will disappear when the vehicle respawned.


Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online

  • Sometimes, when reloading the game after using the vehicle for the last time, it may spawn at mid-air. The only way to enter it was to shoot at the same vehicle to fall to the ground.
  • The livery mapping seems to have a few mistakes:
    • The front right hatch texture is partially cut.
    • The left side contains a marking reading "durin", possibly the same warning sign from the Cuban 800 that was left cut.
    • A portion near the magnet contains oddly-rendered textures, being the vent details from the aforementioned plane.

See Also