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A doors off helicopter tour means that the doors of the helicopter are removed so that riders can enjoy an unobstructed view. In Hawaii, this is a popular way to see the volcanic landscapes, rainforests, waterfalls, and coastline from a bird’s eye view. Doors on helicopter tours are the more traditional way to tour and can be less expensive, although some operators offer the doors-off option at no extra charge. On a doors on tour, the pilot will be the only one with the door open and you will be able to see out the windows.

Some of the most common questions people have are:

  • Why do people fly doors-off in a helicopter?
  • How do I choose the best doors-off helicopter tour?
  • Are doors off helicopter tours windy?
  • Can I get better photographs with the doors off?
  • Is safety an issue when the doors are removed?

Choosing a doors-off helicopter tour

So, which tour should you choose? If you want the best views of Hawaii, go for a doors off helicopter tour. If you’re looking for a beautiful scenic experience but maybe a bit less adventure, go for a doors on tour. Either way, you’re in for an unforgettable experience! What could be more exciting than a helicopter tour with the doors off? Seeing Hawaii from the air is an incredible experience, and one that is made even more special when you can feel the wind in your face. Each operator has different options and add-ons, so you’ll want to check what kind of upgrades you can get for your flight – but the most popular operators offer doors-off options for free. On Oahu the top operators of doors-off helicopter tours are:

  • Rainbow Helicopters
  • Magnum Helicopters
  • Blue Hawaiian Helicopters
  • Mauna Loa Helicopters
  • Paradise Helicopters

Magnum Oahu Helicopter Tour

Magnum doors off Oahu helicopter tour


Yes, doors off helicopter tours are windy, but not as bad as you might think.  The wind will be blowing in your face, but it’s not enough to knock you out of the helicopter. If you have long hair, you can tie it to help keep your hair out of your face.

Oahu Doors Off helicopter photography

Oahu doors off helicopter tour photography — @nataliefylstraphotography (IG) 


With the doors off, photography is enhanced because you are not taking pictures through a window. If you wear dark colors, reflections in your photographs can be minimized. Your pictures will capture great memories even if you choose to have your door on. But for the optimal photographs, taking the doors off is a must.

With the doors off, wind outside the helicopter is very strong so having a strap on the camera is a must. Some wind comes inside, noticeable for sure, but it isn’t too strong. If you’re looking for an incredible experience, we highly recommend taking a helicopter tour with the doors off. In Hawaii, there are many different companies that offer this type of tour. Rainbow’s Oahu Helicopter Tours are the most popular and they offer a variety of different tours to choose from. So if you’re looking for an unforgettable experience, be sure to check out helicopter tours with the doors off!



Of course, safety is always a top priority when taking part in any helicopter tour. With most operators, the ground crew and pilot will go over all the safety procedures before the flight, and it’s important to follow their instructions. But don’t worry, the procedures are easy to follow and will help keep everyone safe and enjoying the ride. 

Another great thing about helicopter tours is that safety is mandated, regulated and routinely inspected by the FAA. The operators, pilots and ground crew take safety very seriously. They do all sorts of pre-checks before takeoff and you can see that they take it all very seriously. This helped me to feel confident in the safety of the helicopter tour with or without the doors-off and not to worry.


Mauna Loa Helicopters flying Oahu helicopter tours

Mauna Loa Helicopters flying Oahu helicopter tours with the doors on.

Sightseeing from a helicopter

The views from a helicopter are incredible. You can see the whole island and all of the different beaches. The best part is that you can see everything from a different perspective. It is really amazing how different everything looks from the air.

While many people think of Hawaii as a tropical paradise, there are actually a lot of different activities to keep you busy here. Helicopter tours are definitely one of the most popular activities in Oahu. There are many different companies that offer these tours, and they are all great. I highly recommend taking one of these tours while you are in Hawaii. I personally found the helicopter tour with the doors off to be more exciting than with the doors on. Helicopters are high-performance machines, and the ride is even more exhilarating when you can feel the wind rushing past you. If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience in Hawaii, a helicopter tour is the perfect way to see the island from a whole new perspective.


Magnum Helicopters Doors Off Oahu

Magnum Helicopters Doors Off Oahu

The best doors off tour on Oahu?

Overall, I have always had an incredible experience on doors-off helicopter tours. I would highly recommend requesting to take the doors off your helicopter to anyone who is visiting Hawaii. It’s an awesome experience that you will never forget. If you are looking for a tour recommendation for Oahu, the Royal Crown of Oahu helicopter is a popular top rated tour, with unforgettable sightseeing above the Waikiki shoreline, Makapu’u Lighthouse, The Windward Coast, Lanikai Beach
Ko’olau Mountains and Diamond Head which seems to be a crowd favorite. Pearl Harbor is also on the itinerary – totally amazing from the air – I could imagine how different it must have looked on that fateful day in Oahu’s history.



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