Seventy-five percent of Maui is visible only from the air! If you haven’t taken a helicopter tour on the island yet, you haven’t seen Maui.
Talk to anyone who has hiked and traveled Maui extensively and they will tell you that they had no clue what Maui looked like until they took their first Maui helicopter tour.
You will find isolated valleys, hidden waterfalls, secluded ridges, triple-canopy rainforests, and mountain summits. Some areas are so dense and rugged they are impossible to traverse on foot. Some species of animal and plant life are so isolated in their Maui habitat they exist only in their own little valley and nowhere else in the world.
A Maui helicopter tour offers you great views of Haleakala Crater, the Hana Highway and vistas of the smaller islands that include Molokai and Lanai.
Maui has a number of helicopter tours to choose from, each specializing in a particular type of aircraft:
- The A-Star is one of the most luxurious, designed specifically for sightseeing. No matter where you sit you’ll have 180-degree visibility. The rotator shaft does not come between the front and back seats and there are no visual impediments interrupting your view forward. The back seat is raised to give a better view above the seats in front and there is an abundance of windows.
- The Hughes 500 is small, fast and maneuverable. It seats only 4 passengers so each person is guaranteed a window seat.
- The Bell Jet Ranger is a little larger than the Hughes and smaller than the A-Star.
- The McDonnell-Douglas Notar is designed without a tail rotor, giving a noticeably quieter flight. This helicopter is often hired by professional photographers on aerial shoots because it can be flown with the doors removed.
With regard to photography, many helicopter companies equip their aircraft with special video recorders mounted in the nose and along the sides of the helicopter. Some even have camera lenses mounted in the cockpit. As the pilot flies along he directs the taping, selecting the camera that offers the best view. The result: at the end of your tour you’re presented with a video tape of your actual flight to take home and enjoy.