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Co-pilot veiw in Robinson R44 Kauai helicopter tour

Are Kauai helicopter tours safe

When you participate in a helicopter tour in Kauai, know that operators have a very good safety record, with only the weather making things difficult.

Kauai helicopter tours are safe as can be, little incidents occur in Kauai involving a tour helicopter, and when they do it can end in no injury - such as a harder than normal landing. Safety records are to be proud of in Kauai as the operator will show it off. Accidents can occur with unforeseen circumstance.

Reasons why you might be concerned about Kauai helicopter tour safety records it that you'll be participating in a tour soon.

But rest assured, despite a few major accidents that have occurred on the island over the last five years, Kauai helicopter tours are safe.

Only the most reliable helicopter models are used in Kauai, along with a strict rule on helicopter maintenance and pilot training.

So of all the tens of thousands of passengers flown every year; unfortunately you only hear about the one or two accidents.

No Kauai helicopter tour company is without its faults; in fact all operators would have had an incident that involved a minor injury - but the news don't report on them.

They only highlight loss of life - and rightly so - but people do get the wrong idea when they only learn about the bad things.

If it makes you feel more comfortable, Maverick Helicopters haven't had a reported accident thus far, so you can book a tour with them.

Don't let the bad news outdo the enjoyment of Kauai helicopter tours; millions of people participate in the US alone every year, with no incident occurring for months at a time.

Safe as can be

In the end its a matter of helicopter tours in Kauai can be as safe has can be. Tours are no safer in Kauai then they are in Maui, the Big Island or Oahu.

Kauai helicopter tour companies have a remarkable safety record, but you no what; so do all operators around the globe.

If a state, county or even a country had a poor safety record, then the authorities would put an end to business.

So while all seven Kauai helicopter companies continue to operate; you can be assured the authorities have confidence in them.

What that means for potential passengers is that you'll participate in a tour that is safe has can be.

There is no telling or predicting if or when a accident were to occur; all you need to know is the odds of it happening to you are very slim.

Accidents associated with helicopter tours in Kauai can be as little has something like a technical fault or a cancelled tour mid way through the tour due to change in the weather condition.

You don't read about that but only incidents that lead to major crashes in the news.

Operators safety record

If we're talking about major incidents where people have lost there life; its has happened and will continue too in Hawaii, the rest of the US and around the world.

In Kauai in particular the record on crashes involving tourism helicopters are few and far between.

Over the course of the last 10 years, as little has five incidents have occurred involving a loss of life.

However, as the operator who's helicopter was involved in the incident had little to do with its reliability or even the companies lack of care - its business as normal.

That is because there's no one to blame as accidents do happen.

Kauai has experienced little helicopter crashes with the most recent occurring at the end of 2019.

Its thought the weather was to blame for that accident as Kauai's dramatic change of weather can cause such issues.

Reliable helicopters in use

Most recent helicopter crash involved one of the most reliable helicopters in the world, the Airbus H125.

Before that it was a Robinson R44 which is smaller, lighter and far more agile.

Despite that, both helicopter incidents occurred due to the weather condition in Kauai; as neither machine were capable of withstanding what the poor weather throw at it.

Kauai tour helicopters in use in Kauai are the best choppers in use today.

No one could predict a change of weather which isn't helped as the helicopter get's caught in crosswinds or down drafts near to cliffs or inside valleys.

I don't know exactly how the two helicopters came down over the last five years, but conditions near to the ground may not of helped.

Rest assured its probable you'll end up taking a Kauai tour in a model that crashed in Kauai in recent years.

But know it has nothing to do with the reliability or performance of the helicopter in question - as they still remain the best helicopters in the world.

Feel safer in 'no crash' operators

Would it put your mind at rest if you knew you were flying with a Kauai helicopter tour operator who has not been involved in a helicopter crash.

Well, guess what, in more ways than one all Kauai - or Hawaii helicopter companies overall - have had an incident involving there chopper.

For example, Safari Helicopters' Airbus H125 was the most recent accident, but you can go back as far has 2003 to know Jack Harter Helicopters had a crash.

Recently even the most well known, largest operator in Hawaii were involved too.

Blue Hawaiian Helicopters did not have a crash per-se; but more so a hard landing on a beach that injured everyone onboard.

If I were to point to one company who has not had an accident with serious repercussions... that would be Maverick Helicopters using there highly respectable Airbus EC130.

So if it makes you feel better then Maverick would be the operator to book a tour with.

However, while Blue Hawaiian Helicopters have had a accident in recent years, it did involve there Airbus EC130 - the same model used by Maverick who haven't crashed.

So can you see what I am sayin: its not the helicopter type in use, nor is it the operator's fault - more often than its just an unavoidable accident.

Kauai helicopter tour risks

Participating in a Kauai helicopter tour has its risks, much like taking part in a tour on a bus, a boat or on a train.

Sure, things can go more wrong with helicopter as it happens at a great height, but more often than not it doesn't always end up with a loss of life or injury.

So look at participating in a Kauai helicopter tour much like a tour involving other methods of transport - accidents can occur but it doesn't mean you'll be hurt.

Kauai is no different to taking a helicopter tour anywhere else in the world, despite its drastic change of weather condition.

Risks involving helicopter tours in Kauai are usually more to do with where the tour took place.

In Kauai its normal to see the helicopter cruise at a low attitude so the helicopter glides in between canyons and valleys.

Its not known if a helicopter crashed in Kauai or Hawaii in general was a fault due to this way of low attitude flying.

The problem with Kauai is its change of weather; it happens quick so if a helicopter is flying low, it could get caught out in a crosswind.

Kauai's rain or shine

Know that Kauai helicopter tour companies work closely with the FAA and local authorities to make sure tours do not proceed in poor weather or if there's a storm due.

So its not uncommon to see a Kauai helicopter tour cancelled no thanks to the change of weather on the island.

Helicopter tours departing from heliports will do so mostly with a nice blue, clear sky.

Its only mid way through a helicopter tour the pilot would have to call it a day as he or she battles the weather to get passengers back safely.

That is the kind of weather to happen in Kauai on a regular basis; despite that there's no predicting it.

Where there is rain predicted - and there's a heck of a lot of it - its usually business as normal in the air and on the ground.

Its only the major storms heading for the island that can be reported, to which its times like that the helicopter tour will be delayed or cancelled.

As you cruise as low has 500 feet which is often level with mountain tops or canyons, or cruise 1,500 feet high - you'll notice a change in weather over the course of the trip.

For example, on a 45 minute helicopter tour in Kauai; passengers onboard will experience sunshine, cloud and rain - as the weather alternates between all three.


Helicopter tours in Kauai are safe as can be, much like participating in a helicopter tour anywhere else in the world.

Kauai is no safer or more dangerous than if taking a helicopter tour in NYC, the Grand Canyon or Las Vegas.

Operators safety record on the island is quite impressive; despite a couple of major accidents that have happened over the last five years.

Trouble is not with the operator or the helicopter type in use, but largely accidents can be attributed to weather.

Human error has been blamed before now but in Kauai the change of weather can catch helicopter tour pilots out.

Its not 1,500 feet in the air that's the problem but when the helicopter get's caught in a crosswind when flying at a low attitude - in between valleys or canyons.

Then its a matter of battling the impending rain and wind as the pilot tries to keep the chopper steady.

That kind of thing is a regular occurrence in Kauai but its not to say it will happen to you.

Often a person can feel more secure if participating in a Kauai helicopter tour with an operator who hasn't been involved in a crash previously.

But the truth is most helicopter tour companies do have an incident at some point, you just don't read about it because there were no injuries.

And where companies haven't crashed in the past, that is not to say they're safe for the future, because accidents can happen - and more often than not, without injury.

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