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“The best experience ever!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Jack Harter Helicopters - Private Tours

Jack Harter Helicopters - Private Tours
4231 Ahukini Rd., Lihue, Kauai, HI 96766
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Ranked #6 of 45 Activities in Lihue
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Owner description: Jack Harter is the Originator of Helicopter Tours on Kauai. Coming to Kauai in 1962, Jack began offering helicopter tours and charter flights with a focus on safety and quality. Jack's dedication to these important qualities is carried on by the company's hand-picked pilots and ground crew staff that are dedicated to continuing Jack's founding principles. The company offers scenic tours in two types of helicopters: Jack Harter Helicopters' luxurious 6-passenger Eurocopter AStar helicopter features huge floor-to-ceiling windows, BOSE noise-cancelling headsets, air-conditioning, and a cabin layout that has no physical obstructions to viewing the scenery outside. For the more adventurous, their 4-passenger Hughes 500s are flown with the doors removed. There is no luxury in the Hughes 500, but the doors-off flight is very cool! (Double meaning intended!) We ask you to be aware that there are WEIGHT LIMITATIONS for all helicopter tours. The 2 front passenger seats in BOTH helicopter types have more restrictive weight limits, so the SMALLEST PASSENGERS ON ANY GIVEN TOUR ARE USUALLY SEATED IN THE FRONT SEATS. Please look at the company's website to view the aircraft seating diagrams. The company's 60 and 90-minute tours feature Kauai's beautiful Na Pali Coast, the spectacular Waimea Canyon, numerous waterfall-filled valleys including the Hanalei Valley, and Mt. Waialeale, one of the wettest places on earth.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“The best experience ever!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2013

Before arriving in Hawaii we had decided that the best way to see Kauai was going to be by helicopter and if we were going to do that we should do it in style and go doors off.

On the day of the trip we were both a little apprehensive about what it was actually going to feel like being up that high in a helicopter with no doors. When we arrived at the offices of Jack Harter the ground staff were lovely and the guy giving the safety briefing was so relaxed that he put us all at ease. Once we got to the airfield and saw the size of the helicopter though the nerves were back but we had been assured that our pilot, Chris, was one of the best and having flown in war zones we were going to be in safe hands.

After being strapped into our seats, the wait on the tarmac became quite nerve-wracking but the second we took off that feeling completely disappeared. Chris gave fantastic commentary throughout the whole flight, telling us both about the island and what we were seeing, as well as about himself and his family. He was even playing Jack Johnson in the background which just added to the whole experience. Chris's catchphrase was "Alright, let's have some fun" and that is exactly what we did. He flew the helicopter down canyons, through valleys and up waterfalls - amazing.

This is an experience definitely not to be missed by anyone visiting Kauai and we would love to do it again sometime.

Thanks Chris and the whole team.

Visited August 2013
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944 reviews from our community

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14 reviews 14 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Simply amazing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2013 via mobile

Every review pretty much sums it up, this is the company to use for helicopter rides on Kauai. Highly recommend using the doors off!

Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Experience of a lifetime”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2013

This was hands down one of the coolest things I have ever done. We opted to do the doors off one hour helicopter tour of the island. Our pilot, Harry, was awesome! He has been flying helicopters on Kauai for 20+ years and definitely knew everything about the terrain and the chopper. He would warn us well before he knew turbulence hit so we wouldn't get nervous which I liked and made me very confident in his abilities. The landscape of the island is INCREDIBLE! The views are indescribable. You fly through the Waimea canyon, along the Napali coast, over the swamp at the top of the island, and into the volcano that formed the last of the island blew off its side wall. He takes you by so many different waterfalls including the famous one from Jurassic Park.

Some advice: it is cooler up there so dress accordingly. If you get seasick or airsick it will probably happen. I felt nauseous almost the whole time but it was still worth it. They have "aloha" bags if needed. Also, there may be a claustrophobia issue for some. The helicopter has to be balanced by the weight of the passengers so there are two seats in the back and three seats up front. The left front is the pilot obviously and the middle front person cannot weigh more than 130# so I got stuck up there. It was VERY tight in the middle. I still felt like I saw everything great out both doors but I sort of wish I were on the end.

Visited September 2013
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Sedona, AZ
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“What a way to fly!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2013

I was very hesitant, ok scared, to do an open door helicopter tour but after reading many reviews of people older and less fit than me who could handle it, decided to go for it. They seat you on the aircraft based on your weight so of course I ended up in the outside front seat with my arm and shoulder hanging out the door. Have to admit, I kept a death-grip on the handle for the first few minutes but finally relaxed since our pilot, Harry, was so competent and careful with his flying. Then it was just pure pleasure the rest of the way. My husband got a picture of me looking out the open door with a look of pure bliss on my face - no fear! So I really, really recommend the doors off version over closed in tours. I have done those before and they simply do not compare to the experience of the wind in your hair and the full range of vision in every direction you get this way.

I loved every minute of it and the 60 minutes in the air just flew by. Harry gave us lots of info about what we were seeing but also gave us time to just quietly bask in the incredible views. It was wonderful seeing the gorgeous Na Pali coast and the crater areas that you just cannot get to by car. It was also fun to fly over the different beaches and Waimea Canyon that we had already visited to see them from above. Gave us a whole new perspective. Harry took the time to show us all the great waterfalls and scenic views from both sides of the helicopter so everyone could get good pictures. Jack Harter is the only helicopter tour operator who actually has you in the air for a full 60 minutes and every second of it was worth it. Some folks will tell you that 50-55 minutes with another company is close enough but that extra 5-10 minutes could make the difference between your side of the helicopter being given the choice view or not.

Recommend that you tie long hair back, wear long pants and a light jacket (no matter how warm and sunny it is on the ground, you will be glad for them in the air) along with a strap to hold your camera on. The headphones will hold your sunglasses on for you.

If I ever go back to Kauai, I will do this again. With Jack Harter Tours.

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Fly like a bird”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013

Doors off is the way to go! Definitely perfect for camera shots and it's a great experience for the whole family. We had a fantastic time! The island of Kauai is so vast and rather inaccessible, it would have been a shame to have missed so much beauty, and the helicopter was perfect for us since we were short on time and ready for an adventure. Our pilot was kind, calming, and a fantastic tour guide, as well as a great flyer! I would absolutely do this again!

Visited September 2013
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