Chose them after reading many reviews & info, both here on T.A. as well as Y**p. Decided for small size, private tours only require minimum 2 people, they offer doors-off, they have GREAT reviews, and awesome on safety - they aren't afraid to cancel "income" if conditions are less than safe. Not true of all the chopper tour companies...
I booked late a.m. based on recommendation of reviews AND the people who answer the phone. It was sunny, then we went thru rain, then sunny again - none of it mattered, it was AMAZING.
I can pretty much say "ditto" to everyone else's stellar review. Drove right up the the heli-pad now that their office is in a big bus right at the pad. My 16-year old and I took this tour, he reports it's the highlight of his Hawaii trip. First time in a chopper for both of us, VERY glad we did it in this small helicopter, doors off. Saw the big boys on nearby heli-pads, they were loading 4 ppl across in the back seat. We for sure would have been in the middle seats. What's the point?
We have already driven the island from end to end over the past few days, so having Chris, our pilot, point out all the towns and points along the coast was great, as it all fit together. Could be good the other way too - overview now, then drive later.
I chose back right with my camera, son up left front next to pilot (right front). Had on a couple of layers and was comfortable. At times the pilot would turn in a way that got really windy for me, but I'd just lean a bit toward his front seat and it would shield me just fine. Headphones & mic worked great to talk to each other. Detail, but I wondered about my hair that wouldn't make it into the ponytail holder driving me crazy - LADIES (& guys with longer hair), the headset will keep your bangs out of your face during doors-off, no worries.
If you really care about PHOTOGRAPHY, like everyone says, DO DOORS OFF. I took a few shots thru the window on the other side of me, and they are flat & I have reflection in them. Wide angle was really best, I had very little reason for telephoto, except maybe to get a few close-ups of some waterfalls. But it's the big picture, literally, that is most "wow" form the overhead perspective. I was using a 28-300 lens, and would have liked to have wider...
Whatever we may have saved in money had we had taken a big, "comfy" lots-of-people-together helicopter tour, would NOT have been worth it! A ride around the island is no place to skimp - save money elsewhere while here.
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