Flying past the Na Pali coast line is such an amazing experience. Now I love helicopters and I’ve certainly never been a nervous flyer in a helicopter but I don’t mind admitting I was extremely nervous in all but possible the last 15mins of this flight.
We flew in an open door Hughes 500 which is an extremely quick and nimble helicopter and heaps of fun. What got me though was that as we climbed up the huge mountains we started to get battered around by the winds screaming across the ridges. It wasn’t a light bit of turbulence we were quite literally thrown around, so much so that at one stage I stopped shooting and hung onto my seat with both hands. The other awesome part of the ride was that once we made it over the ridge, we’d get a massive shove by those winds which had now become tailwinds and we just rocketed away from the ridge.
It was doubly intense because not only did we shoot past the mountain ridge at speed we did it with a 4000ft drop below us. The mountains in Hawaii are so steep and don’t have an gentle slopes on them, so one minute you are just making it across the ridge and then the next minute you have a massive drop right below you.
Those helicopter pilots really knew their stuff and were edging deep into canyons and weaving their way right up next to waterfalls. It was easily the most crazy and exciting helicopter ride I’ve ever had. If you ever make it to Kauai and you want a new thrill in your life, go for an open door flight past the Na Pali coast line, oh and don’t forget to take some photos in amongst all the excitement.