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Toreno: "Would you like to see your brother this week?"
Carl: "Yeah! What can I do?"
Toreno: "You just gotta steal a military jet off an amphibious assault ship and use it to destroy a flotilla of spy ships. Nothing big."
—Mike Toreno gives Carl Johnson his mission

Vertical Bird is a mission in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas given to protagonist Carl Johnson by government agent Mike Toreno from Madd Dogg's Crib in Mulholland, Los Santos, San Andreas.


After reclaiming Madd Dogg's mansion from the Vagos, Carl returns to the mansion, where he listens to Madd Dogg performing in his recording studio with Kent Paul and Maccer. All of a sudden, the audio is cut off and Toreno's voice is heard on the speakers, requesting that Carl meet him outside the mansion. Carl leaves Paul, Maccer and Dogg in the studio and enters Toreno's Washington outside.

Toreno drives Carl to the northern shore of Red County. Requesting another job to be performed for him in exchange for Sweet's release from prison, Toreno demands that Carl sneak inside an amphibious assault ship in the Easter Basin Naval Station to steal a Hydra VTOL jet to destroy a flotilla of spy ships. Carl hops in a Squalo speedboat containing a knife and a silenced pistol, and heads for the naval base. Carl enters the ship through the rear, where he has the option to either blast his way in, or sneak inside the ship using his equipment. Regardless, Carl disables the ship's S.A.M. sites and steals one of the Hydras.

Shortly afterwards, a group of Hydras are dispatched to shoot down Carl's aircraft. Toreno tells Carl not to worry about it, stating that a shootdown would cause an international incident. Carl destroys the pursuing aircraft and flies towards the Sherman Reservoir where he uses the Hydra's weaponry to destroy the Tropic spy ships, as Toreno requested. With his task completed, an infuriated Carl now asks Toreno what to do with the jet, but Toreno tells Carl that it is his problem. Carl flies the aircraft back to the Verdant Meadows airfield, where he taxis the jet into one of the hangars, completing the mission.

Mission Objectives[]

In order to complete the mission the player must:

  • There's a silenced pistol and a knife in the speedboat.
  • Head for the ship.
  • Get inside the ship before the rear door closes. Swimming will help avoid detection by the guards.
  • Find the control room to switch off the SAM sites.
  • Steal one of the military jets.
  • Try not to alert the guards.
  • You have been detected by a mechanic. He is running to trigger the alarm. (If a mechanic sees the player standing near them or a guard gets killed in front of them by the player)
  • You've been detected by the guards. The aircraft carrier is now on alert. (If the player gets spotted by the guards)
  • Steal one of the military jets.
  • There are military jets on your tail. Take them out!
  • Enemy jet destroyed. 2 still active.
  • Enemy jet destroyed. 1 still active.
  • All enemy jets destroyed. Now destroy the spy ships.
  • Spy ship destroyed. 3 ships remain.
  • Spy ship destroyed. 2 ships remain.
  • Spy ship destroyed. 1 ship remains.
  • Take the jet to the desert airfield and land anywhere on the landing strip.
  • Guide the plane into the Hangar.
  • The Hydra will now always be available in this hangar.


  • (Potentially) All of the guards and mechanics aboard the LHD-069 - Killed by Carl Johnson in order to steal a Hydra VTOL jet.
  • Pilots of enemy Hydra VTOL jet(s) - Killed by Carl Johnson for attempting to kill him for stealing one of the Hydras.
  • Unknown personnel aboard the Tropic spy ships - Killed by Carl Johnson with a Hydra jet under the orders of Mike Toreno.



Carl Johnson and Kent Paul are listening to Madd Dogg rapping in the recording studio of his crib, while Maccer pleasures himself.
Maccer: (grunts) Go on, go on, come on, come on, go on...
Paul: Will you please leave yourself alone?!
CJ: (cheering at Dogg - not in subtitles) Yeah!
Maccer: Oh, fuck!
Paul: Oh, you manky mongrel!
Maccer: Ooh, sorry geez...
Paul: You shouldn't be choking the gecko in the first place! Remember what happened at that gig in Hamburg?!
CJ: (not in subtitles) That's my Dogg!
Maccer: That groupie loved it!
Paul: That wasn't a groupie, that was a roadie!
Maccer: But she had great tits.
Paul: Man tits! They were MAN TITS!
Suddenly, the music cuts off.
CJ: Hey, what happened? Hey, where the sounds at?
Paul: I dunno, bruv, it all just went!
Maccer: You're fucking shite you are, P.
Paul: I can't be held responsible for dodgy gear, alright?
CJ: C'mon, keep it together, man - we can't fuck with his flow.
(Voice only):
Finally! I thought I'd never get through to you.
CJ: What the f-
Paul: (not in subtitles) What's this?
CJ: Toreno? Is that you?
Paul: What's happenin' here?
CJ: Toreno?
(Voice only):
Listen; you gotta pull one last string for me, OK?
Paul: (to Dogg - not in subtitles) Hold up, right, look, hold up, one second...
(Voice only):
Communists at the gate, Carl.
CJ: I'm tired of this, Toreno.
(Voice only):
I'm outside. Let's take a ride.
Maccer: Now I'm hearing things - fuck me!
The music resumes playing.
CJ: Hey, I gotta get outta here, you got this? (to Dogg) Hey, Dogg, I gotta go hit a marketing meeting, I'm gonna catch you later!
Dogg continues rapping.
Paul: Right, mind you go, sunshine. Yeah, sweet as... Come on. You having that, Maccer, you having that?
CJ leaves the crib to see Mike Toreno.
Toreno: Well, no invite to the housewarming, huh, kid?
CJ: I knew you'd come anyway.
Toreno: Yeah, well, that's not important right now. I'll bring you up to speed on the way, get in.
CJ and Toreno get into the latter's Washington, as Toreno takes him to the Panopticon.
CJ: How long's this gonna take? I got my own shit to worry about.
Toreno: Would you like to see your brother this week?
CJ: Yeah. What can I do?
Toreno: You just gotta steal a military jet off an amphibious assault ship and use it to destroy a flotilla of spy ships, nothing big.
CJ: Oh, man, you shittin' me.
Toreno: Would I shit you, Carl? There's a boat. All the gear you need is on board. I'll keep you briefed as you go.
CJ: I ain't coming back from this one, am I?
Toreno: Yes you are, don't be ridic--here, take this earpiece. Trust me, do as I say, you'll be home for a blowjob and a bologna sandwich.
CJ gets out of Toreno's car and heads to a nearby Squalo, which contains a knife and a Silenced 9mm on board.
(Voice only):
OK, Carl, the ship is moored in the Easter Basin Naval base.
CJ sails to the ship located near the Easter Basin Naval Station.
(Voice only):
Sneak in the back without being seen. Once you're on the inside, I cannot help you.
CJ: Well, can you help me now?
(Voice only):
Uh, well, no. Actually, no.
CJ sneaks to the back of the ship and goes to disable the Surface-to-Air Missile system on the ship, then goes to steal a Hydra, either by doing it quietly, or risking alerting the military personnel and triggering an alarm. Once CJ steals the Hydra, he flies away from the ship.
(Voice only):
You see? You see? What did I tell you, it was a snap!
Three enemy Hydras are deployed to shoot down CJ.
Navy Pilot: Stolen aircraft, prepare to be vaporized!
CJ: Did you hear that?
(Voice only):
"Prepare to be vaporized", what a bunch of bullshit, ignore them. They shoot at you and it's an international incident. You're not a British tank, you should be fine.
CJ: For real?
(Voice only):
Yeah, well, probably. Now make your way to the flotilla and sink the fuckers!
CJ destroys the three spy boats located at the Sherman Reservoir, while making sure to take out the chasing military jets along the way.
(Voice only):
You see? Child's play!
CJ: Fuck you, Toreno! I never want to go through this again! I think I'm gonna hurl...
(Voice only):
Ooh, what a big whiner, you want some cheese with that wine? Hey, you were spectacular. You know what, I'm beginning to think my little Carl is a double agent, oooh.
CJ: Shut up, Toreno! Where do you want this thing?!
(Voice only):
What thing? I don't know what you're talking about - you stole it. Got nothing to do with me, I don't know what you're talking about. See ya 'round.
CJ: Toreno? TORENO! Shit!
CJ is left with no choice but to take the Hydra for himself to the Verdant Meadows Airfield.


A WCTR news bulletin announces that several eyewitnesses witnessed the Hydra being stolen from the Naval Base. However, this is denied by the Navy.


Video Walkthroughs[]



  • This is the only storyline mission that takes place across each of the three major areas in the State of San Andreas. It starts at Madd Dogg's Crib (Los Santos), Carl steals the Hydra from the Easter Basin Naval Station (San Fierro), destroys spy ships in Tierra Robada and lands the jet at Verdant Meadows (near Las Venturas).
    • The only mission that covers more distance is the second Beat The Cock! triathalon. It starts in Palomino Creek, traverses the countryside and requires the player to enter San Fierro, Bayside and Las Venturas proper, the latter two requiring a passage through the desert.
  • The mission is scripted to take place at night and have stormy weather.
  • If the patrol boat that enters the carrier is destroyed from afar (with a Minigun or RPG), the game will crash as soon as the player sneaks aboard.
  • The default radio station in the Washington is WCTR, but when Carl and Toreno enter Toreno's car, K-Rose is playing.
  • On the aircraft carrier, three jets can be found initially. A fourth one lands later on, while one of the initial three departs. Destroying one of the remaining jets will lead to two Hydras pursuing CJ after stealing a Hydra, while destroying two will lead to just one Hydra pursuing CJ.
  • In the beta, Carl would have to drive all the way to the boat, as depicted by unused mission failure messages (i.e. "Toreno's car is destroyed!").
  • The S.A.M. sites on the aircraft carrier are mission-exclusive, and will remain inactive out of the mission, regardless of whether they were deactivated or not by the player during the mission.


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The Lost and DamnedJohnny Klebitz | Liberty City | Alderney | Characters | Gangs | Missions | Vehicles | Weapons | Radio stations | Achievements/Trophies | Cheats
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Grand Theft Auto VMichael De Santa | Trevor Philips | Franklin Clinton | Southern San Andreas (Los Santos (County) | Blaine County) | State of North Yankton (Ludendorff) | Characters | Gangs | Missions | Weapons | Vehicles | Radio stations | Achievements/Trophies | Cheats
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Collectibles | Multiplayer | Modifications | Controversy
[ ve ]Missions in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
IntroductionThe Introduction | In the Beginning | Big Smoke | Sweet & Kendl
Lance Wilson
(Ryder) Radar-RyderIcon-GTASA
Part 1Ryder
Part 2Home Invasion | Catalyst | Robbing Uncle Sam
Sean Johnson
(Sweet) Radar-SweetIcon-GTASA
Part 1Tagging Up Turf | Cleaning the Hood | Drive-Thru | Nines and AK's | Drive-By | Sweet's Girl | Cesar Vialpando
Part 2Doberman | Los Sepulcros | Reuniting the Families | The Green Sabre
Part 3Beat Down on B Dup | Grove 4 Life
Part 4Los Desperados | End of the Line *
Melvin Harris
(Big Smoke) Radar-SmokeIcon-GTASA
OG Loc | Running Dog | Wrong Side of the Tracks | Just Business
Cesar Vialpando Radar-CesarIcon-GTASA
Part 1High Stakes, Low-Rider
Part 2King in Exile
Part 3Wu Zi Mu | Farewell, My Love...
Part 4Photo Opportunity
Part 5Pier 69
Part 6Back to School | Zeroing In | Test Drive | Customs Fast Track | Puncture Wounds
Jeffrey Cross
(OG Loc) Radar-OGLocIcon-GTASA
Life's a Beach | Madd Dogg's Rhymes | Management Issues | House Party
Part 1Burning Desire | Gray Imports
Part 2Badlands
Part 3555 We Tip
Part 4Snail Trail
Part 5Misappropriation
Part 6High Noon
Catalina Radar-CatalinaIcon-GTASAFirst Date | First Base | Gone Courting | Made in Heaven
Robberies Radar-CashIcon-GTASATanker Commander | Local Liquor Store | Against All Odds | Small Town Bank
The Truth Radar-TruthIcon-GTASA
Part 1Body Harvest
Part 2Are You Going to San Fierro?
Part 3Black Project | Green Goo
Carl Johnson Radar-CJIcon-GTASA
Part 1Wear Flowers in Your Hair
Part 2Deconstruction
Part 3Ice Cold Killa
Part 4Riot
Zero Radar-ZeroIcon-GTASAAir Raid | Supply Lines... | New Model Army
Jizzy B. Radar-LocoIcon-GTASA
Part 1Jizzy | T-Bone Mendez | Mike Toreno
Part 2Outrider
Wu Zi Mu Radar-WoozieIcon-GTASA
Part 1Mountain Cloud Boys | Ran Fa Li | Lure | Amphibious Assault | The Da Nang Thang
Part 2Toreno's Last Flight | Yay Ka-Boom-Boom
Mike Toreno Radar-Toreno2Icon-GTASA
Part 1Monster | Highjack | Interdiction | Verdant Meadows | Learning to Fly | N.O.E. | Stowaway
Part 2Vertical Bird | Home Coming
Triads Radar-TraidsCasinoIcon-GTASA
Part 1Fender Ketchup | Explosive Situation | You've Had Your Chips | Don Peyote
Part 2Fish in a Barrel
Part 3A Home in the Hills
Heist Radar-CashIcon-GTASAArchitectural Espionage | Key to Her Heart | Dam and Blast | Cop Wheels | Up, Up and Away! | Breaking the Bank at Caligula's
Mafia Radar-MafiaIcon-GTASA
Part 1Intensive Care | The Meat Business
Part 2Freefall
Part 3Saint Mark's Bistro
Madd Dogg Radar-MaddDoggIcon-GTASA
Part 1Madd Dogg
Part 2Cut Throat Business
Side MissionsParamedic | Firefighter | Vigilante | Taxi Driver | Brown Thunder | Pimping | Freight Train Challenge | Burglar | BMX Challenge | The Chiliad Challenge | NRG-500 Challenge | 8-Track | Kickstart | Blood Bowl | Dirt Track | Shooting Range | Roboi's Food Mart Courier Mission | Hippy Shopper Courier Missions | Burger Shot Courier Missions | Trucking | Valet | Quarry | Exports and Imports
Race Tournaments Radar-race-gtasa
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San FierroDirtbike Danger | Bandito County | Go-Go Karting | San Fierro Fastlane | San Fierro Hills | Country Endurance
Las VenturasSF to LV | Dam Rider | Desert Tricks | LV Ringroad
Air RacesWorld War Ace | Barnstorming | Military Service | Chopper Checkpoint | Whirly Bird Waypoint | Heli Hell
Missions in GTA San Andreas | Missions | Beta Missions | Side Missions (Category)
* denotes the final story mission.