We did a 90 minute aerial view of the island. Our pilot flew over all of of the Big Island, including parts, particularly the North east portion - which are very challenging to access on land. The scenery was amazing - so lush, with many waterfalls. We also went over the Volcano region, and saw an active flow as well as the lava bowl that the Park Visitor Center overlooks. Again, flat out spectacular. In air, you get a perspective on how different each part of the island is in terms of vegetation and topology.
Our pilot was great - well informed, fun and clearly focused on safety. Everyone has a window seat. We shied away from the helicopter tours as we wanted something that at least "felt" safer (don't really know if it is), and we did feel comfortable. Parts of the ride do get bumpy as there is turbulence around the volcano due to the warm air rising from the lava. My 10 year felt a little out of sorts for a few hours after the trip, so be prepared if anyone is prone to air sickness. It's also rather expensive. That all being said, it's worth it. We did get fortunate on weather - it was pretty clear even on the traditional rainy side of the island. I imagine a cloudy day would have changed things a lot - likely wouldn't have been able to fly low enough to see lava for example. Highly recommend but recognize the weather risk
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