Paradise Helicoters Kilauea Volcano from Hilo

Kilauea Volcano helicopter tours from Hilo

Paradise Helicoters Kilauea Volcano from Hilo Pu'u O'o Crater

Pu‘u O‘o Crater has been erupting for over 30 years

Paradise Helicoters Kilauea Volcano from Hilo new eruption

This new vent erupted in March, 2011

Paradise Helicoters Kilauea Volcano from Hilo door off Hughes 500

Doors Off flying in a Hughes 500 ...

Paradise Helicoters Kilauea Volcano from Hilo Bell Jet Ranger

...or luxury and comfort in a Bell Jet Ranger

Paradise Helicoters Kilauea Volcano from Hilo volcano and waterfalls

50 Minute tours include the volcano and waterfalls

Paradise Helicoters Kilauea Volcano from Hilo fresh lava flow

A fresh lava flow carves a path through the rainforest

Paradise Helicoters Kilauea Volcano from Hilo lava pouring into the sea

Lava pouring into the sea creates dramatic views of the newest land on earth

Paradise Helicoters Kilauea Volcano from Hilo hot lava

A river of molten lava flowing over the stark landscape of ancient flows

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Kilauea Volcano is the most active volcano in the world and it has been continuously erupting since 1983! The Hilo airport is just minutes away from the active lava flows and an aerial perspective of the volcano will give you an appreciation for how Hawaiian shield volcanoes create and sculpt the land. We offer two types of helicopter tours from Hilo depending on the level of adventure that you seek.

Doors Off Lava and Rainforest – 50 min.

A helicopter with no doors … the wind in your face … 2200 degree molten lava below … Enliven your senses on your Kilauea Volcano flight by feeling the heat and smelling the sulfur of the world’s most active volcano! Fly in a Hughes 500 (the Magnum PI helicopter) which seats four passengers and offers all-window seats. Your adventure begins with checkin and a safety briefing at the Hilo Airport general aviation tour area in Terminal 2. Your flight departs from the airport en route to the Kilauea crater and offers views of Hilo Bay, tropical rainforests of Puna, and the world famous Mauna Loa Macademia Nut Farm. Once you reach the volcano you’ll see current and recent areas of activity including any lava ocean entry points and Pu‘u O‘o, the volcanic vent that has been the focus of nonstop volcanic activity from 1983 to 2018 and evidence of recent activity is evident. On your return to Hilo you’ll see beautiful Rainbow Falls and other cascades of northern Hilo. This is a 50 minute flight.

Schedule: Daily (every hour starting from 8am to 4pm)

Restrictions: Minimum age for this flight is 12 as children under 12 are not permitted to sit next to an open door per FAA guidelines.

Equipment: Hughes 500 with doors off

Capacity: Due to Covid-19, all flights are currently flown as Private Charters will a maximum of two guests per flight. The pilot sits up front (with doors on) and the two passengers sit in the rear (with the doors off). This arrangement minimizes air circulation between the pilot and passengers.

What to Bring & Wear: Passengers should wear comfortable clothing including a sweater/jacket and long pants.  

General Information
Check In: 30 minutes before flight time at Paradise Helicopters office at Terminal 2 of the Hilo Airport

GPS: 1363 Mokuea St, Hilo, HI 96720 Click to view map

Covid-19 Protocol: Weights and heights for each guest are required at the time of check-in. Due to the current social distancing requirements for the state of Hawai’i, Paradise Helicopters is only offering private tours at this time. A private tour, private flight, or private excursion is when one party flies on a helicopter at a time – defined as those dwelling in the same household. If you are exhibiting COVID-related symptoms upon check-in, you will be asked to postpone your flight. Staff may ask to check your temperature to ensure you are not exhibiting symptoms. Learn about their elevated health & safety protocol to help observe the COVID-related requirements of social distancing and sanitization:

Guests are required to wear a protective face mask (covering the nose and mouth) before, during and after the flight. Please let us know if you have a medical condition preventing you from wearing a mask.

helicopter from kona
Fly over the amazing Kilauea crater
helicopter tour lava flow
Watch lava flow into the ocean

Chelicopter tours from Hiloruise Ship Passengers

Hilo Cruise ship passengers are able to do any of these helicopter tours from Hilo but availability is very limited when ships are in port and your reservation should be made weeks in advance of your date! A short cab ride of less than 5 minutes is required, or you can ride a rental car shuttle if you are renting a car for use before and after your flight.

Activity Tips

Kevin Ditamore – Owner / Manager

Yes, helicopter tours are expensive. Honestly though, people don’t come to Hawaii to save money. They come in search of the complete Hawaiian experience. The reality is that there is so much beauty in Hawaii that cannot be seen in any other way except from the air, that the high cost of helicopter tours becomes worth it for those who seek the ultimate in their vacation experience. When you consider the thousands of dollars spent on airfare, meals, and accommodations on a Hawaii vacation, it only makes sense to spend a few hundred dollars more and REALLY see the island while you are here.

These helicopter tours depart from the Hilo airport. Hilo is close to the Kilauea Volcano and flights from Hilo are the most affordable way to see the active volcano from the air. If you are staying in the Kona or Waikoloa resort areas, you’ll have a long drive to get to Hilo. The advantage of having your own rental car is that you can also drive up to see the volcano from the ground after doing your helicopter tour. Allow an entire day for the drive to and from this side of the island from the Kona side.

Tours on this page are flown in a helicopter model known as a Hughes 500, the helicopter of Magnum PI fame. It normally seats four; two passengers sit up front with the pilot, and two more sit in the rear. Due to Covid-19 this tour is currently flown only as a private flight with a limit of 2 guests per flight. 

Because this helicopter is not climate controlled, passengers need to dress for cooler temperatures and cold winds aloft. Long pants and a sweater/light jacket are sufficient. Note that this helicopter is only available at the Hilo Airport and there is only one flight option … the 50 minute tour.

Seating is assigned in the helicopters based upon body weights and the best balance of the aircraft. While it is possible to pay a little extra to guarantee particular seats, we find that the cost is not worth it. If you request a particular seat and you don’t fit the weight and balance profile for that seat on that particular flight, you’ll get moved to another seat anyway (and the upgrade fee will be refunded). If you do fit the weight and balance profile for that seat, the chances are good that’s where you’d end up sitting anyway …without paying extra. During the Covid-19 mitigation period, the concept of “seat upgrades” does not apply. The two guests will sit in the rear seats, and the side that each person sits will be determined based upon body weight.

A word about children flying on these tours. The doors off helicopter normally has a minimum age of 10. Most kids younger than that will be a little reluctant to experience such an extreme adventure. If you have a child who is a little younger than that but is particularly fearless, the tour operator will probably OK it … but be aware that if you push your child to do the tour and then they back out at the last minute, you will not get refunded because your child is afraid to do the tour. Kids are best flown in the helicopter that has doors on it.

One other little feature that’s nice … all of these helicopters have two-way communication between the pilot and the passengers. You can talk to the pilot … and to each other … during the tour.

Check out our Kona Helicopter Tours too!