If you’re looking for an adventure-packed vacation in Hawaii, look no further than an Oahu helicopter tour! These helicopter sightseeing tours provide breathtaking views of some of the most beautiful islands in the world, and are sure to make your trip one to remember. To make the most of your Oahu heli adventure, choose a company that will give you the best views of the island. This means avoiding tour groups that fly too low or too close to the shoreline. But what exactly can you expect from a helicopter tour? Here are some of the most commonly asked questions:
How long is a full flying helicopter tour?
The average helicopter tour lasts around 30-60 minutes. However, this can vary depending on the tour operator and the specific route.
How many passengers fit in the helicopter?
Most helicopters can seat between 3 and up to 6 passengers, plus the pilot.
What kind of helicopters are commonly flown?
The helicopter you fly in has a huge impact on the quality of your air-tour experience, so it’s important to know your aircraft before you book any tour. Here are some of the most commonly flown tour helicopters on Oahu:
- Airbus AS350 A-star — seats 6 guests
Airbus EC130 “Eco-Star” — seats 6 guests
- Robinson R44 — seats 3 guests
- Hughes 500/MD 500 “Magnum” — seats 3 guests
- Bell 407 — seats 6 guests
Why are passenger weights required?
The weight of the passengers is important for balancing the helicopter. The pilot will need to know the total weight of all passengers in order to ensure a safe and comfortable flight.
What can you bring on the flight?
You are welcome to bring a camera to take pictures during the flight. However, many operators ask that you refrain from bringing any large or bulky items.
What is the best time of day for visibility?
Oahu has beautiful weather mornings, afternoons, and evenings so you can choose most anytime to fly. Helicopter tour operators generally keep a vigilant eye on the weather reports and may adjust your tours timing to make sure your helicopter flight is the best possible experience.
What should passengers wear?
Passengers should generally dress comfortably and in layers. The temperature inside the helicopter can be cooler than the outside temperature, so it’s important to have some clothing that can be easily removed if necessary. Also close-toed shoes are preferable and often required.
What kind of cameras are recommended for photography?
You can probably take great photographs with a latest generation cell phone, but the best way to get high resolution pictures is with a DSLR or mirrorless camera. Cameras with fast burst mode, image stabilization and a high resolution sensor work best when photographing from a helicopter.
Will there be turbulence?
Turbulence is possible during any flight, but is unlikely during a helicopter tour. If it does occur, it will usually only last for a few seconds and will not be strong enough to cause any discomfort.
Which tour operator should I choose?
Have you ever wanted to see Oahu from a bird’s eye view? Oahu helicopter tours are a great way to see the island’s stunning beaches, cliffs, waterfalls and lush rainforests from above. There are many different companies offering helicopter tours of Oahu, so how do you know which one to choose?
Here are some of the most popular helicopter tour operators on Oahu:
- Rainbow Helicopters
- Paradise Helicopters
- Blue Hawaiian Helicopter
- Mauna Loa Helicopters
- Magnum Helicopters
- Honolulu Helicopters
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Adventure: If you’re looking for an unforgettable adventure, choose a company that offers doors-off helicopter tours. This means you’ll fly with no obstruction between you and the beautiful landscapes below. Don’t worry you’ll be strapped in with a seatbelt, so you can really take in the views.
Beaches: Oahu is home to some of the best beaches in the world, so make sure your helicopter tour takes you over at least one of them. Waikiki Beach is a must-see, and you can also get a bird’s eye view of Hanauma Bay, Lanikai Beach, and the surf areas of the North Shore.
Best views: To make the most of your Oahu helicopter tour, choose a company that will give you the best views of the island. This means avoiding tour groups that fly too low or too close to the shoreline.
Easy online booking: The operators with most intuitive / easy to use booking platforms usually carry this attention to detail down to every aspect of your flight. As a general rule, booking direct with the tour operator is the best way to ensure a great experience from start to finish.
Julie Q.Mar 2022
“Love Rainbow, they are like a well oiled machine! Easy and convienient online booking. Ground staff is professional and friendly. Corey, our pilot is super knowledgeable and friendly. The ride was smooth and comfortable and he pointed out landmarks.”
“I've had plenty of great experiences booking on-line, but this was definitely not one of them. I contacted Blue by email 4 months in advance of our desired flight day; I was told to not worry about booking so far away, and that there would be no problem getting our family on a flight.”
Lisa T.Jun 2022
“I highly recommend booking direct from helicopter operators rather than 3rd party vendors. Some friends of ours booked the exact same experience as we did from a 3rd party vendor and had a cancelled flight surprise!”
Terry M.July 2017
“Some operators try to front load reams of passenger information about you - really tedious online booking experience if you ask me. The companies with the easiest online booking and the least amount of steps generally translate that efficiency to their operation on the ground.”