Hang Gliding and Paragliding
Hang Gliding Maui. Armin Engert will take you on an instructional powered hang-gliding trip out of Hana Airport in East Maui. With more than 7,500 hours in flight and a perfect safety record, Armin flies you 1,000 feet over Maui's most beautiful coast. A 30-minute flight lesson costs $130, and a 60-minute lesson is $220. This is easily one of the coolest things you can do in Hana. Snapshots of your flight from a wing-mounted camera cost an additional $30, and a 34-minute DVD of the flight is available for $70. Reservations are required., , . ..
Maluhialani. The name means "beautiful serenity" in Hawaiian, which is appropriate for an airborne trip taking off from Kula in Upcountry Maui, and soaring as far as the West Maui Mountains. Dwight Mounts, your pilot, built a grass runway on his scenic Upcountry property that serves as home base for his powered hang-gliding lessons. The cost is $125 for a 20- to 30-minute Mini Intro Flight, and $200 for a 50- to 60-minute Full Intro Flight. . .
Proflyght is the only paragliding outfit on Maui to offer solo, tandem, and instruction at Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area. The leeward slope of Haleakala lends itself perfectly to paragliding with breathtaking scenery and Upcountry air currents that increase and rise throughout the day. Polipoli creates tremendous thermals that allow one to peacefully descend 3,000 feet to the landing zone. Owner-pilot Dexter Clearwater boasts a perfect safety record with tandems and student pilots since taking over the company in 2002. Ask and Dexter will bring along his flying duck Chucky or his paragliding puppy Daisy. Prices start at $75, with full certification available. , , .. .
One of the most beautiful and exciting ways to see the island, and the only way to see some of its most dramatic areas and waterfalls is by helicopter. Tour prices usually include a DVD of your trip. Prices run from about $200 for a half-hour rain-forest tour to more than $500 for a 90-minute megaexperience that includes a champagne toast on landing
It takes about 90 minutes to travel inside the volcano, then down to the village of Hana. Some companies stop in secluded areas for refreshments.
Helicopter-tour operators throughout the state come under sharp scrutiny for passenger safety and equipment maintenance.
Air Maui Helicopters. Air Maui prides itself on a perfect safety record, and provides 45- to 65-minute flights covering the waterfalls of the West Maui Mountains, Haleakala Crater, Hana, even the spectacular sea cliffs of Molokai. Prices range from $256 to $338 with considerable discounts available on the Web site. Charter flights are also available. , , . ..
Blue Hawaiian Helicopters. This company has provided aerial adventures in Hawaii since 1985 and has been integral in some of the filming Hollywood has done on Maui. Its EcoStar helicopters are air-conditioned and have noise-blocking headsets for all passengers. Flights are 30 to 90 minutes and cost $220 to $560. Charter flights are also available. , , . . .
Sunshine Helicopters. Sunshine offers tours of Maui and Molokai in its Black Beauty AStar or WhisperStar aircraft. A pilot-narrated DVD of your actual flight is available for purchase. Prices start at $200 for 30 to 105 minutes. First-class seating is available for an additional fee. ,, . ..