MISSION 18 - Rico And The Rose
Mission area: Cauda
Things aren't over yet, even though you've won your second set battle against Di Ravello. You'll be tasked with ensuring the VIP Rosa Manuela's plane arrives safely. This is a bit trickier than it sounds as unless you've gone out of your way with air vehicles before this point, this is likely your first time trying to pilot a jet in the game. The take off controls are fairly easy to comprehend (RT to accelerate and then tilt the left stick down to lift the front of the jet up, allowing it to take off). Think of RT as accelerate and LT as brake. The main issue is you will need to target enemy planes accurately which can be extremely difficult using only the LS to move the plane. You will need to use the X/ Square and B/ Circle buttons to make delicate adjustments to your aim, keeping enemy planes in your sights.
I'm getting this out of the way early so you have a little time to practice before you reach Rosa's plane and the enemy ambush begins. You'll be tasked with taking out five enemy jets one at a time that fly past you to attack Rosa's plane. Make sure you keep RT held down the whole time while fighting these jets, as otherwise you'll be left behind quickly making Rosa easy prey. The best strategy for beginners is to fly straight ahead, using the X or B buttons to adjust you aim until you sweep your crosshairs over the enemy planes. When this happens and the reticle turns red, fire your homing missiles rapidly to take out the enemy aircraft. It may take a couple of tries to grasp, but you should get the hang of it fairly quickly.
After the final jet explodes in a fireball, Rosa's plane will begin to slow down. You'll quickly realize that her plane is losing altitude and you're going to have to take over piloting duties. The next bit can be tricky as you're going to need to get your jet close (within grappling distance), press A/ X to get on top of the jet and then grapple across to Rosa's plane. This can be harder than it sounds as you need to be going the right speed and be close enough to pull it off. Try to make sure you are flying parallel to her plane and moving about the same speed before you attempt to get across. Take command when you reach her plane, throwing the luckless prior pilot out the door as you do (you bastaaaaaaaardos *splash*). Now all that's left is to bring her plane in to land at the rebel cove. Another thing that's easy to say, but harder to actually do.
You'll want to be coming in straight onto the runway, holding down LT to slow your speed down enough to safely land. If you're not coming in straight or are moving too fast, abort and come around for another attempt. When you successfully land, a scene will trigger and your escort mission will be complete. Now that's how to do an escort mission!