Air Tours on a fixed-wing aircraft are a great way to view the active volcano and are often much less costly than the helicopters
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Big Island of Hawaii Volcano Air Tours. Airplane and Fixed Wing Flights
Big Island of Hawaii Fixed Wing and Airplane Air Tours - The only place on the planet that you can consistently see an active volcano has been on the Big Island of Hawaii.
The Big Island of Hawaii is big indeed, larger in fact than all the other islands put together. Taking an airplane air tour on a fixed wing aircraft is a great way to see the Big Island of Hawaii in a short amount of time, and at a lesser expense than in a Air Plane. The air tours over the live volcanoes on the Big Island of Hawaii are among the most spectacular and this Hawaii activity is among the most popular.
Air tours on the Big Island of Hawaii fly over the volcanoes of Kilauea, Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea and the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Air tours are considered by many to be the single most spectacular tour available in all of Hawaii and should not be missed.
Air tours in Hawaii to see mount Kilauea and the active volcanoes of Hawaii Volcano National Park depart from both Hilo and Waikoloa. Most visitors visiting the Big Island will stay on the Kona or Waikoloa coast and since there are tours leaving from there this is often they're first choice of departure points.
For years the magma under Kilauea has been pushing to the earth's surface through "pu'u" or vents and has been making its way through a series of lava tubes to the seacoast. Here the hot lava pours into the sea at such enormous temperatures that vast plumes of steam and mist are formed and often ascend hundreds of feet into the air.
Vast areas of the Big Island of Hawaii have been burned and paved over as a result, and the destruction and raw power of the earth's creative force is one of the most spectacular sites to ever be seen. This spectacle of nature is often much too dangerous to be viewed up close and visitors are prohibited to go close to the most spectacular fiery displays. Therefore, the only way to realistically see the active volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii is an air tour.
It should be remembered however that the reason the Big Island is called the "Big Island" is that it is very, very big (it is a fact that the total land area of all the other islands combined would fit within the confines of the island of Hawaii) and as a result the tours that leave from Kona to view the volcano are generally over two hours in length and are respectively fairly expensive.
Many people as a result choose to drive the 2 or 3 hours or so from Kona to Hilo and depart from there as the fixed wing air tour to see Kilauea is only 45 or 50 minutes in length and considerably less expensive. The longer fixed wing air tours and small plane tours do have their merit however as they visit the slopes of both Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa as well as the spectacular Kohala Coastline. So if money is not an object please enjoy the longer fixed wing airplane tours on the Big Island of Hawaii.
If you haven't seen the Big Island of Hawaii by air tour, you haven't seen the Big Island of Hawaii.
With regard to photography, many Big Island of Hawaii air tour companies equip their aircraft with special video recorders mounted in the nose and along the sides of the aircraft. Some even have camera lenses mountedin the cockpit. As the pilot flies along he directs the taping, selecting the camera offering the best view. The result: at the end of your Big Island of Hawaii air tour you're presented with a video tape of your actual flight to take home and enjoy over and over.
Tom's Tips - Big Island Airplane Air Tours
- During the fixed-wing air tour wear dark-colored clothing if you're going to be taking your own photographs. White or light- colored clothing will reflect in the windows and show up in the image.
- Morning fixed-wing air tours generally have the least cloud cover. These are also the ones that book up first, especially during busy times. Book your fixed-wing air tour early. Better yet, book a morning tour before you get on the island.
- The Kilauea volcano air tour in my opinion is one of the best buys for the money in Hawaii. I say this not in the sense that it is in anyway inexpensive, but that it is probably a sight that you will never again see in your lifetime and is certainly worth every penny of the expense.
If you'd like to see the volcanoes of the Big Island from above, a great tour company to go up with is Iolani Air. Iolani Air just takes small groups of four to seven passengers on their single engine high wing Cessna aircraft. After having taken numerous helicopter flights over this area in past years I was amazed and a little bit "taken back" by how much I was able to see on one of these wing over head "fixed wing" aircraft. There was nothing kept from view and it was great to interact back and forth with the pilot to get answers to questions about what we were seeing. The Crater of Halemaumau was covered in clouds that particular day but we made up for it by extensive and repetitive over-flights of Pu'u O'o vent and all the lava tube tributaries working their fiery way down to the sea. When the lava hit the sea the smoke and steam was absolutely the whitest white possible and a real spectacle to have witnessed. The pricing on Iolani Air for this tour is very reasonable and could be a consideration for anyone thinking about taking a flight over the volcano.
(From: $159.90 - To: $159.90)
Within the past 20 years or so the only place on the planet that you could consistently see an active volcano has been on the Big Island of Hawaii. Many believe that this is the ultimate helicopter tour in Hawaii. The molten lava flows, lava tubes, erupting vents and general rift zone areas are for many a "once in a lifetime" Hawaii activity experience.
(From: $165.90 - To: $639.90)