Thinking of taking a helicopter tour over Hawaii, but the thought of flying in a helicopter is a little nerve-wracking? With these helicopter safety tips, you will feel safe and fully prepared to enjoy the adventure of a lifetime.
1. Use Good Communication Etiquette
Headphones are provided on each flight so your pilot can narrate the tour. The two-way communication system allows you to talk directly with the pilot and to fellow passengers.
Using the headphones to communicate with the pilot is encouraged except during take-off and landing. During these flight stages, it’s good etiquette to stay quiet and allow the pilot to focus. Once you’re up in the air, you can feel free to ask questions and engage with others on board.
2. Learn Proper In-Flight Behavior
The pre-flight safety briefing will provide all the details on seat allocation and in-flight behavior. Pay attention to your pilot as they will be able to help with any concerns. General safety rules are 1) keep your seat belt on 2) follow directions, and 3) be careful not to drop anything out of the helicopter (for your sake and those down below).
You should be careful with belongings and cameras, especially on doors-off flights. The Doors-off Lava Helicopter Tour in Hilo offers an incredible way to experience the lava. It’s also a brilliant opportunity for photographers to get an uninterrupted view of the landscape below.
Naturally, there are more safety measures to think about when flying without doors. For example, there can be no loose equipment in the cabin, all cameras or phones need to be attached with straps, and hats are not permitted as they may blow off or interfere with the headset.
3. Know How to Deal With Stress
Helicopter tours can be very adventurous and cause your adrenaline to spike, but you don’t want to let stress ruin the experience. If you’re nervous, or if there’s a little turbulence, it’s important to relax. Breathing deeply and relaxing your muscles can help you calm down.
Distracting your mind also works wonders. If the breathtaking views aren’t enough, try massaging the pressure point in your neck, or apply pressure with your thumb on your palm, working outwards in sweeping motions. This can help relieve stress.
Are you prone to motion sickness? Taking motion sickness relief medicine, such as Dramamine, 30 minutes before your flight can help prevent queasiness.
4. Plan What to Wear on the Trip
Comfortable clothing is key. Jeans are better than shorts as they can keep your legs warm if there is excessive wind or moisture. You should also bring an extra jacket or scarf in case you get cold.
For your top layer, consider wearing darker clothing as it reduces glare from the windows, which can really make a difference when taking photos.
For shoes, closed-toe is best—save your sandals for the beach as they run the risk of slipping off and falling out of the helicopter. Finally, remember to take your hat and earrings off as they can interfere with the headsets.
5. Check a Company’s Safety Ratings
If you’re really concerned about any danger, researching the company’s safety ratings can give you peace of mind. Look for tours that are certified as an FAA Part 135 Air Carrier. This certification shows that they are held to higher safety standards.
Also feel free to ask the company directly about their safety standards, pilot training, and how many safe flying hours their pilots have. The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) also has useful updates on safety news and incidents in Hawaii.
Ready to take in the phenomenal views and discover the towering waterfalls and lush rainforests of Hawaii? Book the Hawaii Circle Island Experience to see all this and more!