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“Unbelievable Experience!”

Jack Harter Helicopters - Tours
Ranked #5 of 34 Tours in Lihue
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Norcross, Georgia
Level 5 Contributor
41 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Unbelievable Experience!”
Reviewed July 22, 2013

Four of us took the doors-off flight around Kauai. Securely strapped in, we felt perfectly safe, yet we had the advantage of not having to look out through a window! Got great pictures. Our pilot was very experienced having flown tourists in Alaska and the Grand Canyon, and performed hundreds of search & rescue missions. He kept the dialog going and explained in great detail what we were seeing. We had intercom connections for everyone, so we could ask questions. The most awesome part of the flight was flying into the open crater of Mt. Waialeale, the rainiest spot on earth. When he hovered and slowly did a 180-degree turn so everyone could take it in, there was just a green wall of hundreds of waterfalls. It was the most awesome flying experience I've ever had, and I'm an ex-USAF fighter pilot!! This trip was well worth it, and by all means, take the doors-off flight. The helicopter flight beat the fixed-wing flight we did in 2008 by a long shot. Jack Harter Helicopters runs a professonal operation.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank TalonIP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
helicopters-kauai, General Manager at Jack Harter Helicopters - Tours, responded to this review, July 23, 2013
Mahalo for posting a review about your flight with us. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed your flight and hope to see you again in the near future.
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Berkeley, California
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Breathtaking”
Reviewed July 20, 2013

We did the doors off helicopter tour, which was great for taking photographs and also great in light rain - if you looked out the front windshield, the rain really got in the way, but we still had perfect views out the "doors." You see amazing views of much of the island. Much of Kauai is uninhabited and very difficult to get to, so this is the only way to really see everything, particularly amazing views of canyons, waterfalls high in the mountains, and the Napali Coat. The pilot was very knowledgeable. My only small complaint - my husband and I were up front with the pilot, and it was pretty cramped even though I'm pretty small.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank lmptd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
helicopters-kauai, General Manager at Jack Harter Helicopters - Tours, responded to this review, July 22, 2013
Thank you for the review of your flight with Jack Harter Helicopters. We appreciate your comments. As soon as a helicopter manufacturer builds a better helicopter for a doors-off flight, we will be looking at them very seriously. The Hughes 500 is the only 4-passenger (plus pilot) helicopter currently available that we feel is well suited for a doors-off tour in terms of safety and providing the best possible passenger experience.
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Chicago
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Fantastic Experience”
Reviewed July 19, 2013

We went with 8 of us, some doors on and some doors off. Everyone thought it was fantastic. We felt safe and the operator seemed very conscientious. That being said, it was still exciting - doors off especially - and the views of the island are unparalleled. It is totally worth it. The kids had a great time with Chris as their pilot doors off.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank CML548
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
portland, or
Level 6 Contributor
204 reviews
89 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
“OMG, What an Experience”
Reviewed July 18, 2013

We did the 4 person, open tour tour and it was just breathtaking. My wife, who was nervous about doing it, wanted to do another hour as soon as we finished. My 13yo who is an avid photographer was in heaven and couldn't stop raving about it. You see the whole island and your pictures could end up on the cover of a book if you wanted. The pilot was great and made point of giving a lot of facts, but no long winded ancient Hawaiian tails of sleeping giants etc... (while that is still fun to hear, when you have only an hour and have visual sensory overload, just the facts are what you need).
Now, a word of advice/caution. For the open door tour, they MUST have 4 confirmed people in order for it to go. If there are less than 4 in your group, you may end up getting bumped or moved. THus, if you can and you fall into this category, schedule for the beginning of your trip, this way you have the ability to reschedule. THe office staff are very helpful and would talk with them about this when you book. If you want the closed door, there maybe more flexibility

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank jgold10529
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waltham, MA
Level 5 Contributor
87 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“If you're skinny, then don't book this tour!”
Reviewed July 16, 2013

My girlfriend and I booked a JH helicopter, without doors, for our tour of the amazing coastline/waterfalls of Kauai. When we arrived at the facility, we were asked for our weight, which was 110 and 150, respectively. While we were waiting, another couple showed up that was considerably heavier than us! We ended up being placed in the craped front seats with the grumpy pilot - he was not very nice, and lacked communication skils. My girlfriend could barely move, as there was barely any space for two people, let alone three! The views from the front obstructed seats were terrible!! We payed for an expensive flight, and was screwed by Jack Harter because we were thin people! No attempts were made to make us whole. Kauai was such an amazing trip for us! We meet so many wonderful people on this island. I can honestly tell you that none of these people worked for Jack Harter!

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
13 Thank sebtran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
helicopters-kauai, General Manager at Jack Harter Helicopters - Tours, responded to this review, July 18, 2013
Aloha,

Given that this flight occurred almost a year ago, we have little means to respond other than to restate our seating policy and to provide some commentary.

Customer seating on our helicopter tours is assigned according to passenger weights and heights. We must follow weight and balance rules established by the aircraft manufacturers and approved by the FAA when assigning tour passenger seating. The only way we will “guarantee” seating assignments on our helicopter tours is when a customer buys all of the seats on the helicopter and then our customers can participate in seating selection. We still have to follow our weight and balance rules to safely load the helicopter. Generally, the lightest people are put in the front of the helicopter.

We fly thousands of flights in our helicopters every year and have done so since Jack started flying over Kauai’s scenic beauty in 1962. Virtually all of our customers come back from their flights having their expectations met or exceeded. We realize that there are many choices available and when customers choose our services, we want to meet their expectations. We market our services with the specific intent of educating our potential customers about our services so they can make informed decisions about their choice of helicopter tours on Kauai.

Our website has a seating diagram for each of our helicopters on the “aircraft” page and we have posted a video of a portion of a helicopter tour in our Hughes 500 on our Facebook site and it clearly shows what the view from the front center seat is like. We urge all potential customers to look at this information to educate yourselves about our aircraft and our services.
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