Maui Helicopter Flights
Between exploring land and sea, you may think you have covered Maui in its entirety. But the truth is, you’ve only discovered a fraction of Maui until you’ve taken to the Valley Isle’s final frontier: sky. Home to precipitous narrow valleys, countless waterfalls, sheer emerald cliffs, towering mountain ranges, and thousands of acres of uncharted rainforest, exploring Maui by helicopter is the best chance to view the island’s magical untouched areas.
Operating on Maui for just over a year, Go Fly Maui has carved a unique niche in the Maui helicopter trade. Acting as an alternative to standard helicopter tours, Go Fly Maui offers two incredible aerial experiences that no other helicopter company on Maui provides. As the island’s only helicopter flight school, Go Fly Maui offers discovery flights, giving anyone the chance to learn how to pilot a helicopter. In addition to discovery flights, Go Fly Maui also offers fully custom photography oriented flights.
For some, taking to the air in a helicopter is exciting enough regardless of who is piloting it. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker looking to try something new or someone genuinely interested in flight school, Go Fly Maui provides anyone with the opportunity to test the piloting waters in a discovery flight. Each lesson begins with 30 minutes on the ground with Go Fly Maui’s owner and instructor Nick Moran, discussing the basics of flight theory, going over safety briefings, and even peering into the engine of the chopper- an experience that doesn’t come with just any helicopter flight. After the groundwork is complete, take to the pilot’s seat to practice flying. Most discovery flights travel along Maui’s northern coastline towards Hana. Here you will soar over miles of deep rainforests, countless streams en-route to the sea, and some of east Maui’s best aerial sites such as Jurassic Rock, known for being featured in the opening scene of Jurassic Park. Although you will be in control of the helicopter for the majority of the flight, you can still take in the gorgeous Maui scenery below-that is if you're not too focused on the gauges and controls! Before your final touch down at Kahului Airport, you will try your hand at landing- not an easy feat at the windiest airport in the United States. Regardless of whether you decide to pursue flight school or not, piloting a helicopter over one of the world’s most beautiful islands is definitely a bucket-list activity.
Ground Instruction: 30 minute Minimum
In-Air Flight Instruction: 30 minute Minimum
Whether you’re a professional photographer, hobbyist, or simply an Instagram enthusiast, Maui is full of unique photo opportunities. While every corner of Maui offers up something both gorgeous and unique, the real visual treats come from taking to the air. Along with being an accomplished teacher and pilot, Nick Moran is a passionate photographer who recognized Maui’s distinct photogenic landscape as any photographer's dreamland. Noting the hundreds of tourists touting their cameras onto commercial helicopter flights daily, Go Fly Maui began offering fully custom photography oriented flights. All photography flights can be completely customized to build your ideal flight map, itinerary, and even select the best time of day for your flight. This allows you the freedom to delve into your places of interest and explore where you want to explore specifically without any time restrictions or fellow passengers. Go Fly Maui’s photography flights operate in a doors-off helicopter, allowing for the very best panoramic views for shooting, and naturally, a thrilling ride.
Departing Kahului Airport, your first views will be of the rugged northern coastline extending east. On a typical day, you’ll find hundreds of colorful sails belonging to both windsurfers and kitesurfers dancing along this windswept coast. Catch glimpses of Maui’s main port, Kahului Harbor, and the surrounding outer reefs that protect the island from the hammering north swells in the winter months. From here, the choice of where to head next is yours.
Ask about having a professional photographer along to shoot you and give you tips!
West Maui Mountains
Most flights head into the heart of the West Maui Mountains, where you will find ivory waterfalls spilling thousands of feet down from misty peaks. While Haleakala is Maui’s crown jewel when it comes to mountains, the West Maui range is equally as special, if not more so due to their impassable terrain. The West Maui Mountains are home to some of the most important sites in Hawaiian history, yet because of the dizzyingly sheer and heavily forested mountain walls, they are mostly inaccessible. Some of the island’s tallest waterfalls are tucked away in these emerald valleys, invisible to most. This remoteness only adds to the magic of the area.
On the other side of the spectrum, Haleakala is often touted as Maui’s most popular tourist attraction. Yet this imposing volcano takes on a different personality entirely when viewed from above. Towering at 10,000 feet, Haleakala’s desert landscape resembles that of Mars rather than Hawaii. From above, you’ll take on a new perspective of Haleakala and discover a renewed appreciation for the dramatic forces that came together to form this island. As a national park, drones are prohibited, meaning a flight is the only way to capture aerial images of Haleakala Crater’s warm desert hues, stoic cinder cones, and ancient lava flows that extend to the coast.
As with any flight around Maui, you’ll ultimately be reminded that you are on an island, isolated in the middle of the Pacific. Just because you’re cruising a thousand feet above sea level doesn’t mean you can’t explore what lies in the cerulean depths. On sunny days Maui’s coastal waters display a collection of different shades of blue, and sometimes you’ll be able to spot green and gold hues radiating from coral formations beneath the surface. In the winter months, the Valley Isle’s shallow waters are a playground and sanctuary for hundreds of migrating humpback whales. Believe it or not, these mammoth creatures are easier to observe from above. Instead of waiting for them to break the surface, chances are good you will be able to spot a few moving through the depths.
Regardless of which experience you choose (if not both!), Go Fly Maui is unlike any helicopter company operating on Maui. From hands-on discovery flights to personalized photography flights, any time spent with Go Fly Maui should successfully cross a few activities off your bucket list.
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