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Passenger, pilot seen in Robinson R44 over Maui water

Maui Open Door helicopter tours guide

Take the best Maui helicopter tour the island has to offer you, with a unique open door tour that offers no bounds in what you can see.

Participate in a Maui open door helicopter tour for unrestrictive sightseeing from the air. Passengers will embark on the island's only open door tour that will partake in a 6 or 4 seater. Depart near Kahului Airport to view the West Maui Mountains, then its over to the Pailolo Channel to see Molokai’s north shore.

Once you've arrived in Maui, the only way to see Hawaii's second largest island is via a helicopter tour.

Better than that is participating in an exciting, windy open door helicopter tour that makes for unbelievable sightseeing opportunities.

Guests can book the up to six open door tour on the island; that is Air Maui Helicopters' Doors-Off West Maui & Molokai tour.

Then there's an option to book up with Pacific Helicopters in their Robinson R44.

It will cost as low has $245.00 per person with a flight time lasting 45 minutes or more.

Open door helicopter tours will involve a reliable yet safe Airbus H125 helicopter, also known as an A-Star or a Robinson R44.

The A-Star is a 6-seater helicopter with a seating plan that involves four passengers across the back, with two passenger co-pilots sitting next to the pilot.

Robinson R44 is a 3-seater passenger capacity helicopter with all guests getting a open door side seat.

Restrictions apply with only 10 year old permitted, but they're not allowed a open side seat, so they must be seated in the middle.

All guests will be required to wear appropriate clothing, but more importantly than that shoes must be tied - so no slip on sandals or flip flops.

Six Maui Open Door tours

Seeing as Maui is Hawaii's second largest island, it would expect to see more options in the open door availability, but nope - its just the six for now.

I suppose we can be thankful Air Maui and Pacific provide us at least the six Maui open door tour, or else we would have none.

Its sure to be a helicopter tour to remember, and quite possibly among the best Maui tours available to visitors.

So you'll be heading over to the Air Maui web site to register. Here you'll be booking what is called the Doors-Off West Maui & Molokai helicopter tour.

Reasonably priced too, at $245.00 guests will enjoy a once in a lifetime experience for a full 45 minutes in the air.

Don't forget Pacific Helicopters who operate not one but six doors off helicopter tours that includes a cliff side landing.

Costs involved start from $299.00 for up to 45 minutes, or $349.00 for a one hour tour.

Departing near the Kahului Airport, passengers will embark on all major landmarks the island has to offer them.

Head due west into the West Maui Mountains before crossing the Pailolo Channel - a large body of water - to view the sea cliffs and waterfalls of Molokai’s north shore.

No other way can attractions seen on the ground be seen or reached on foot like this; so count yourself lucky to see it all by air.

Air Maui or Pacific Helicopters

Lots of Maui helicopter tour operators on the island of Maui, but only one of two can offer you the doors off experience.

You'll have no choice but to book a helicopter tour with Air Maui or Pacific who operate the open door helicopter tour business.

You'll sure to be in good hands as right from the beginning as you book a seat with ease.

Then your first interaction with the companies personnel should be a delightful one.

Know you'll fly the helicopter tour with a pilot who will have years of experience and hundreds of hours of flight time.

Air Maui are located near the Kahului Airport, but on the opposite side of the terminal: 1 Kahului Airport Road, Hangar 110, Kahului, Maui, HI 96732, USA, or...

Pacific helicopter can be found in the same heliport location on the opposite side; at: Kahului Heliport, Hangar #104, Kahului, HI 96732.

Its an isolated part of the airport grounds for helicopter tours only.

Seven helicopter hangers line the stretch of the heliport, of which Air Maui are on the far right, with Pacific on opposite left side.

While there, you'll notice five more tour operators who depart out of the location; including Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, Sunshine Helicopters, Maverick Helicopters.

If you also wish to experience a doors on helicopter tour in Maui well your at it; this is the location you'll need to be at.

Airbus A-Star or Robinson R44

You might of heard of the A-Star helicopter tour, but in fact its just a nickname given to a helicopter model.

Technically its called the Airbus H125, but previously known as the Eurocopter AS350 Ecureuil.

Highly dependable, incredibly reliable helicopter in terms of safety so you'll sure to be in good hands in this type.

Its not a common helicopter model for use with open door helicopter tours; so there's a bonus as its quite the rare one.

I've personally known this helicopter as a police helicopter in the UK; as shown on my about page with me posing next to a very old Airbus H125 model many moons ago.

Space inside the cab makes for ideal helicopter sightseeing tours; thus a large open section is removed.

Doors on in this type does not make for ideal viewing; as the windows can be a little restrictive in terms of area to see through.

But as you'll be flying doors off, the viewing area is as good as touring in any other helicopter model.

So how will passengers be seated and what on the limitations?

Pacific Helicopters operate a light but unstable Robinson R44 helicopter that makes for an interesting experience, in a good way.

So while the Air Maui Airbus H125 is heavier, has more lift with a higher passenger seat capacity - it can be made better in a R44.

Passenger seating arrangement

The Airbus A-Star is a 6-seater passenger capacity helicopter, including a seat for the pilot who is positioned on the right-side.

Therefore, the two front seats next to the pilot are free for passengers to sit.

Four seats across the rear are open to all with no upgrade needed, though you can ask about a window - or doors off - side as to not be stuck in the middle.

If you want to sit at the front its usually reserved to upgrade only, at a cost of $50 per person - but limited to two seats per order only, so will cost $100.00.

If you want the best seat in the house, then its the passenger window side, front seat you'll really want.

Quite a wide helicopter so the seating is wide and comfortable, allowing for space between passengers and lots of leg room.

If you are over the weight limit for a helicopter tour, you can still go ahead but you'll need to upgrade to a comfort seat at cost.

There are restrictions on what customers can wear which I will get into detail for you, as to avoid issues later.

Doors off Pacific Robinson R44 makes for solid views with no obstructions, along with all guests getting a doors off side seat.

That is not a possibility with Air Maui's Airbus H125 as up to three passengers will need to occupy the middle seats.

What to wear open doors

Guests will be asked to wear appropriate clothing for your Air Maui open door helicopter tour.

Clothing you've warn throughout the morning or intend to wear for the rest of day, for example... will be perfectly acceptable.

However, where customers go wrong is what they're wearing on there feet.

For sure the wearing of open toed sandals or slip-on's is a normal occurrence in Maui or Hawaii in general.

On a open door helicopter tour that has to change for safety reasons.

Think of it like this, in your normal day as you go about sightseeing you might feel as if your shoe is falling off - which often it can.

Now remember you'll be cruising at an attitude of say 1,000 to 1,500 feet; a height that could really endanger a persons life if a shoe were to fall on them.

That is why you will not be permitted to wear slip on sandals or flip flops; as they could fall out of the helicopter in flight.

Its important guests show up wearing lace tied, closed sneakers or boots as to avoid any problems in check-in.

In addition to what you'll be wearing; Air Maui will provide each passenger a jacket that you must wear, no exceptions.

Customer restrictions

So while Air Maui and Pacific outline what a customer should wear, let's get into things to avoid or do to prevent delays or cancellations.

Minimum age of a Maui doors off helicopter ride is 10 years old, with a full paying adult accompanying children under 18 years.

No loose items will be permitted on the helicopter so leave them behind in the car or in your hotel room.

Long air has to be tied up at all times so you won't be allowed to let it hang. Which is good for you as it is windy so will become a nuisance for you and other passengers.

Air Maui have a strict rule on photography so are probably the only helicopter operator to deny camera's onboard.

Instead, guests will be limited to there mobile/cell phone only for taking pictures or video.

On the otherhand, Pacific Helicopters are more relaxed on photography while encouraging guests to bring there  DSLR, GoPro, cell phone or whatever.

To prevent you dropping your phone in flight, the company will provide a lanyard that will fix to your wrist or neck to catch it incase it does indeed drop.

Passengers must weigh under 240lbs for Air Maui or 260lb for Pacific Helicopters; or you'll be charged for a comfort seat if matching or exceeding the weight limit, in the case of Air Maui only.


Its hard to believe just the six or so Maui open door helicopter tours serve all visitors to the island annually, but it does to great effect.

Air Maui or Pacific Helicopters are the operators to offer you this unique experience in Maui.

Unique tour that will depart near the Kahului Airport. It will instantly head due west to cross the Pailolo Channel - which is the body of ocean between Maui and its smaller island chain.

Guests will be able to view the sea cliffs and waterfalls of Molokai’s north shore before turning around to view more of what hidden treasures the West Maui Mountains have to offer.

Experience this doors off tour in an A-Star by nickname, but its really called an Airbus H125 - a twin engine, three bladed helicopter.

Capacity per flight is six passengers with a seating arrangement that fits four people in the back, well two passengers occupy the co-pilot seats.

If not, then Pacific Helicopters will take you up in their 4-seater Robinson R44.

What you wear is important as it could delay or cancel your tour; so wear what you normally would but pay close attention to your shoes.

Passengers are advised not to wear slip on sandals or flip flops, unless they're the strap on tight kind - but too play it safe wear sneakers or lace tied shoes.

Restrictions apply with only 10 years or older permitted to participate in a doors off tour, but only 16 years or up can sit on the open door side.

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