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“Don't book this tour if you are skinny - you will get the middle seat!”

Jack Harter Helicopters - Tours
Ranked #4 of 34 Tours in Lihue
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Jack Harter is the Originator of Helicopter Tours on Kauai. Coming to Kauai in 1962, Jack began offering helicopter tours and charter flights with a focus on safety and quality. Jack's dedication to these important qualities is carried on by the company's hand-picked pilots and ground crew staff that are dedicated to continuing Jack's founding principles. The company offers scenic tours in two types of helicopters: Jack Harter Helicopters' luxurious 6-passenger Eurocopter AStar helicopter features huge floor-to-ceiling windows, BOSE noise-cancelling headsets, air-conditioning, and a cabin layout that has no physical obstructions to viewing the scenery outside. For the more adventurous, their 4-passenger Hughes 500s are flown with the doors removed. There is no luxury in the Hughes 500, but the doors-off flight is very cool! (Double meaning intended!) We ask you to be aware that there are WEIGHT LIMITATIONS for all helicopter tours. The 2 front passenger seats in BOTH helicopter types have more restrictive weight limits, so the SMALLEST PASSENGERS ON ANY GIVEN TOUR ARE USUALLY SEATED IN THE FRONT SEATS. Please look at the company's website to view the aircraft seating diagrams. The company's 60 and 90-minute tours feature Kauai's beautiful Na Pali Coast, the spectacular Waimea Canyon, numerous waterfall-filled valleys including the Hanalei Valley, and Mt. Waialeale, one of the wettest places on earth.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Don't book this tour if you are skinny - you will get the middle seat!”
Reviewed 14 May 2014

My husband and I booked this tour and were very much looking forward to the doors-off helicopter experience. As the lightest of the four people on our tour, I was placed in the front middle seat. I didn't even get to sit next to my husband, and was squashed between the pilot and one of the other people I didn't know. Not only is this seat extremely awkward (you are constantly getting poked in the ribs by the pilot), but the visibility is terrible. The instrument panel blocks your forward view and, to see out of either side, you have to look over either the pilot or the person seating on your right. The front middle seat should either be heavily discounted or should not be sold at all. After our flight, I discussed the situation with the person at the front desk and requested a discount. I was told that due to weight management and distribution, the thinnest person generally ends up in the middle. I was not offered any discount. My advice is to call ahead and see who else you are booked with - if they are heavier, make sure to cancel at least 24 hours ahead of time. And I really was disappointed not to be provided with some type of discount for this limited visibility tour.

Visited May 2014
8 Thank koz2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A thrilling experience”
Reviewed 13 May 2014

Having never been to Kauai before, we had been told many times over that the island was a "Thing of Beauty". It seemed to us the most logical way to make this evaluation was to take a helicopter ride around the island. So we talked with the Concierge at the Marriott Resort in Lihue, Kauai who suggested we consider Jack Harter Helicopters. They had an office on site and we could see the helicopters taking off right over the resort.

My new bride was very skeptical about the trip from the beginning because she gets severe motion sickness. The thing we had going for us was that she had already taken a helicopter ride into the Grand Canyon when we were in Las Vegas last year, but when the option existed to go in an open door helicopter, she had second thoughts.

There are no words to explain the exhilarating (and bit eerie) feeling you get from looking down a few thousand feet at the mountains and coastline with nothing but a seat belt holding you in place! It was simply amazing and awesome!

The ride was smooth, even with wind and rain in different areas of the island. The views of the waterfalls, Na Pali Coast and inner island where no cars can drive were spectacular!

Thanks Jack Harter for a once in a lifetime memory!

Visited May 2014
Thank jhensler98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Corpus Christi, Texas
Level Contributor
309 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Great way to see Kauai”
Reviewed 13 May 2014

I took the "doors off" tour in the helicopter. The scenery was breathtaking. I would do this again except for the doors off helicopter. Next time I will take the tour with the doors on. It was very windy and quite cold with the doors off. I felt like at any minute I would be sucked out of the helicopter so I was holding on for dear life!! Our pilot Jason was awesome and knew so many tidbits about the island.

Visited May 2014
Thank sstexasham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Federal Way, WA
Level Contributor
22 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Feel secure with "no doors" option”
Reviewed 12 May 2014

I cannot praise our pilot Myles enough for his demeanor and skill! I chose the Hughes 500 "doors off" option to take photos. We had four passengers, three were by doors, with one seated next to the pilot. I sat in the rear right seat which was quite windy (dried out my contacts a bit) but absolutely perfect for photos! I am used to strapping in tight (4 or 5 point harness) in small aircraft; so, initially I felt a bit uneasy with the cross-chest shoulder harness that allowed movement like in a car. However, Myles kept us informed of every upcoming maneuver and possible turbulence, as well as being an informative tour guide--he frequently checked with the rear passengers on the intercom to make sure we were enjoying the flight. His flying is so smooth that I never felt a descending or climbing sensation. His turns also were very gradual. He would perform 360 degree turns while hovering to allow everyone an optimal photo opportunity. By the way, the only turbulence felt was more of a fish-tail, not the expected up/down. We had awesome weather on this 12:30 flight, just a light mist at the crater.

I have to acknowledge Cornell, the "Jack of all trades." He gave us an excellent safety brief, fitted us with equipment and seated us in the helicopter, and even provided great conversation when he drove me back to the cruise ship port. The office staff is also fantastic--thanks to Charlene for her timely email/phone messages! This experience exceeded my expectations and is worth every penny!

Visited April 2014
Thank Phil H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 May 2014

This company offers a great tour and at good value. Our pilot Jason was very knowledgable about the island as well as a very smooth pilot. We highly recommend!!

Visited May 2014
Thank Allise B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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