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Hooded passenger leering out of doors open helicopter at the Kauai coast

Kauai 'Open Door' helicopter tours

Scary yet thrilling helicopter tour that will allow for unrestricted, door less flight with views of the Kauai jungle, mountains and waterfalls passing below you.

Not for the faint hearted Kauai Open Door helicopter tours are an amazing way to see Kauai at its finest; offering unrestricted views over the course of a 60 to 90 minute tour. Jack Harter will serve your doors off tour; all while flying their fast, agile Hughes 500s helicopter to all major sights.

No way is it possible to see Kauai the way you can as a visitor or tourist to the island than with this once in a lifetime open door helicopter tour.

Unique, unforgettable experience that will seem so sureal, you won't get this helicopter tour out of you mind, ever.

It may be doorless, but make no mistake, this is a safe Kauai helicopter tour where you'll be securely strapped in with a life-jacket.

Helicopter used to dart around the island is the Hughes 500s; a personal favorite of mine, and one that is highly recognisable.

Jack Harter will be the helicopter company to fly you, well there prices reflect similar Kauai helicopter tours with doors on, using other helicopter models.

What you should expect to pay for a Kauai helicopter tour with the doors off would be $309.00 - with the doors off add-on usually not effecting the price.

Companies offering open door

In Kauai, Jack Harter Helicopters are your destination for a doors off helicopter tour in a fast, agile Hughes 500s helicopter.

That's the type of helicopter used in the Magnum P.I. series and numerous 80s shows.

Exciting as Kauai helicopter tours are, imagine it with no doors fixed to the helicopter, with only your seat belt keeping you firmly secured to your seat...

Remember, all Kauai helicopter rides are safe so there's nothing to worry about here.

Flying with Jack Harter with doors off it not for the faint hearted mind; the thrills, the spills and the often aggressive manoeuvring by the pilot is concerning... but in a good way.

You will fly low through canyons with often a change of climate from hot to chilly, before hovering near waterfalls with the possibility of brief landing on top of a mountain.

Jack Harter open door option is one of the best helicopter tours in Kauai, so its not one to be missed when or if the opportunity presents itself while you're there.

Seated Open Door only

Often the passenger will have a choice of being strapped into there seat the normal way, or being tethered into a legs-out position.

In Kauai, the seated position doors off helicopter tour is the only option to you but will for sure be the only position you need.

Being strapped in faced forwards has no restriction to the passenger; with the ability to still turn left or right as you view the sights or take pictures.

Kauai helicopter tours last for up to 60 to 90 minutes, so why not travel in comfort with the doors off, rather than getting tired from dangling legs.

It is possible to book a doors-off, legs-out helicopter ride over one of the Hawaii Islands if you phone around the helicopter tour companies, it just doesn't exist in Kauai.

Benefits to open doors of course is unrestricted photography, which will get into next...

Unrestricted photography

First person view of GoPro through open door helicopter
Passenger using a GoPro on a gimble while recording the Kauai coast through the open door of a Jack Harter Hughes 500s helicopter.

Its all well and good if you're flying a helicopter tour with the doors off; but why not take photographic evidence of your thrilling, adrenaline filled helicopter tour by taking pictures.

You don't need to be a professional, nor do you need the best camera; all that's needed is a basic camera phone, GoPro or a DSLR camera.

Jack Harter will insist you strap all photography equipment to your wrists.

Not only will you have to do so but things will be checked, before being checked again to make sure there's no possible chance of objects coming loose in flight.

Safety concerns around helicopters are items hitting the helicopter at speed, so all cameras or video devices must be tied to your wrists.

Too much photography equipment will not be permitted; only two items at a time can be held in each hand will be allowed.

Weather effects Doors Off policy

Unfortunately, weather changes very quickly in the Hawaii islands with the sun shining one minute before quickly turning to weather unfit for helicopters to fly in.

If the weather changes dangerously during your doors off flight, it might be that you'll have to head back to base camp.

You will not fly an open door helicopter tour if its raining heavy, as vision is restricted for you and the pilot...

The flight instruments risk getting water damaged, and so will your camera equipment.

Saying that, a little rain won't prevent your helicopter tour as its the rain that keeps the Kauai waterfalls flowing.

With that in mind, you will need to dress accordingly while also making sure you bring waterproof camera equipment.

What to expect Open Door passengers

The Hughes 500s is a four-seated, passenger (excluding the pilot who sits on the left-side in the Hughes) helicopter.

After a quick briefing at the heliport, you'll be forced to strap on a life-jacket as you'll be flying over water, so must be worn for safety reasons.

Pilot will arrange your seating though it is possible to ask for the front seat, or a door-side seat if you wish (this is not guarantee).

Passengers will all wear noise-canceling headphones so you can talk between yourselves, including the pilot who will be accommodating.

Noise canceling headphones will be useful so you can hear each other in flight; well also help keeping your ears warm and hair tied back.

If you do have long hair then you must take the opportunity to tie your hair back as to avoid your hair giving you trouble during your Kauai open door helicopter tour.


If you want to take an open door helicopter tour in Kauai throughout the year, then Jack Harter Helicopters is the only company to offer such a tour.

If the doorless helicopter flight is too scary thought, then Jack Harter do have a doors-on state-of-the-art Eurocopter AStar helicopter.

Made more scary with the doors off, the agility of the Hughes 500s helicopter will be flying in a way that will make your heart sink - with manoeuvring that is not for everyone.

Regardless, safety is a priority and more so on Kauai as the weather changes from hour to hour, but a little rain won't hurt you.

Dress in a light rain jacket or hoodie if you must, with closed toe shoes to keep you warm enough, so any chill in the Kauai air won't ruin the flight.

Children won't be allowed an open door tour so its strictly an adult tour only.

You won't be tethered in your seat for safety concerns, with only a seat belt used to stop you falling out of the helicopter.

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