Helicopter tours are one of the best ways to see the island. There are plenty to choose from if you are a Hawaii resident or visitor to the island. However, you should prioritize your safety and know what to look for before paying for the first tour you come across.
According to SFGATE, 54 crashes occurred between 1984 and 2022 in Hawaii. To learn more about helicopter safety and why crashes happen, see below.
Unfortunately, most helicopter crashes occur because the pilot shows poor judgment. Hawaii weather changes quickly, so pilots should never take off if there is any doubt about weather conditions. NPR says that the Federal Aviation Administration wants to install 21 extra weather cameras across several islands by the end of 2023. Hopefully, these will aid in the safe prediction of inclement weather. Do not enter a helicopter if you feel uncomfortable about the flying conditions.
Another contributing factor is mechanical failure. Usually, the maintenance issue is something that the touring company could prevent. Mechanics may not have proper training or ignore mandatory quality control. Everyone who works on the helicopter should receive factory training and be up to date on maintenance procedures. You should also be aware of your helicopter’s flight hours and if it exceeds the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Flying in helicopters involves a certain amount of risk. Reduce the risk of catastrophic injury or wrongful death by thoroughly researching the tour company. Do not be afraid to ask questions because your safety is at stake.