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What is a doors-off helicopter tour?


A doors-off helicopter tour is a type of aerial tour experience where the helicopter doors are removed, allowing passengers to have an unobstructed view of the surrounding scenery.

Such tours are particularly popular for scenic flights over breathtaking landscapes, such as cities, coastlines, mountains, and other natural wonders.

If you’re an adventurous traveler seeking a unique experience, a doors-off helicopter tour might just be the perfect choice for you.

So, read along as this article explains everything you need to know about a doors-off helicopter tour.

What to expect on doors-off helicopter tour

Doors-off tours offer a 360-degree view, open-air adventure with unparalleled views, and a thrilling sense of freedom.

The doors-off configuration provides an immersive experience, as passengers can feel the rush of wind with an unrestricted view of the landscape below.

It offers an exhilarating sensation and allows for fantastic photo opportunities, as no windows or barriers obstruct the view.

A doors-off helicopter ride allows you to witness the beauty of your surroundings from an entirely new perspective.

Are doors-off helicopter tours worth it?


Helicopter tours with the doors removed have gained popularity in recent years, attracting individuals from nearly all walks of life.

Whether you’re a professional photographer looking for that perfect shot or simply a traveler eager to capture awe-inspiring moments, the absence of doors can make a big difference to your heli tour experience.

Doors on or doors off – the pros and cons

Doors off helicopter tours
Image: Rainbowhelicopters.com

A helicopter tour with or without doors can have some pros and cons you must be aware of before choosing one.

Pros of doors-off helicopter tours

  • The absence of doors provides an unobstructed and panoramic view.
  • Doors-off flights eliminate potential reflections and allow aerial shooting without interference from windows or doors.
  • It adds an extra level of excitement to the flight.
  • With the doors removed, you can feel a closer connection to the environment below.

Cons of doors-off helicopter tours

  • Flying with the doors off can increase wind noise, buffeting, and potentially lower temperatures.
  • The absence of doors can contribute to a bumpier and more turbulent ride. Some individuals may be more susceptible to motion sickness or discomfort in such conditions.
  • Due to safety regulations, you may need to leave personal belongings or loose items behind or secure them in a specific manner during a doors-off flight.

Pros of doors-on helicopter tours

  • The physical barrier of doors during a helicopter tour provides an extra layer of safety and security.
  • You are shielded from direct wind gusts, noise, and external weather elements with doors on.
  • The presence of doors can help reduce the effects of turbulence and wind buffeting, resulting in a smoother and more stable ride.
  • The doors offer protection against airborne debris, like dust, sand, or small objects in the air, ensuring a cleaner and safer cabin environment.

Cons of doors-on helicopter tours

  • Doors-on helicopter tours may restrict certain photography angles and limit the scope of your views compared to doors-off tours.
  • The doors can create a sense of separation from the outside environment, which may reduce the feeling of openness and connection to the scenery below.
  • If you seek a more adventurous or adrenaline-pumping experience, doors-on helicopter tours may provide a slightly less exhilarating sensation than doors-off tours.

Are doors-off helicopter tours safe?

Yes, the doors-off helicopter tours are safe, as safety is a top priority in doors-off helicopter tours.

While removing doors may initially raise concerns, tour operators take extensive measures to ensure the well-being of passengers.

Passengers are securely fastened into their seats using harnesses or safety belts, and trained personnel provide comprehensive safety briefings before takeoff.

In addition, passengers are typically required to wear safety gear, including helmets and life vests, when flying over water.

However, it’s important to be aware that flying without doors does come with some inherent risks, particularly in the unlikely event of an emergency.

Choose a reputable tour operator with a strong safety record and experienced pilots.

Additionally, consider the weather conditions during your planned tour, as flying in colder or rainy conditions without doors can be more challenging.

If you’re prone to motion sickness or are uncomfortable with strong winds, a doors-off tour may not be the best choice for you.

What to wear on a doors-off helicopter tour

When going on a doors-off helicopter tour, it’s important to dress appropriately for a safe and comfortable experience.

Opt for lightweight and breathable clothing allowing freedom of movement, like comfortable pants or shorts.

Neutral color outfits are preferable as they don’t reflect in the windows and interfere with your photography.

During cool weather conditions, you may want to dress in easily wearable/removable layers, like a lightweight, long-sleeved shirt, t-shirt, jacket, or sweater.

Wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes to protect your feet, and avoid loose-fitting sandals or flip-flops, as they may pose a safety risk in case of an emergency.

Wearing protective eyewear like sunglasses or goggles will shield your eyes from the wind, dust, and potential debris during the flight.

Secure loose items, such as hats, scarves, or jewelry, because the strong wind during the flight could cause them to fly off.

If you have long hair, tying it back or securing it with a hair tie will help keep it from getting tangled or obstructing your view during the flight.

Keep your accessories to a minimum to avoid any interference with the helicopter’s safety equipment or flight controls.

Avoid wearing large earrings, necklaces, or bracelets that could get caught on something.

It’s important to follow any specific instructions the helicopter tour operator provides.

They may have additional requirements or recommendations based on the helicopter model or tour location.

FAQs about doors-off heli tours

Here are some questions visitors usually ask before going for the doors-off helicopter tour.

Why take the doors-off helicopters?

One of the main advantages of doors-off helicopter flights is the unobstructed picturesque views it offers. With no doors or windows in the way, photographers can capture stunning shots without worrying about reflections or distortion. Unlike traditional helicopter tours with doors, doors-off helicopter flights can provide an exhilarating experience for adrenaline seekers and adventure enthusiasts.

Can I have my door on and someone else have their door off?

The ability to have one door on and another door off during a helicopter tour typically depends on factors like a specific helicopter tour operator’s policies, regulations, and safety considerations, the helicopter’s design, and more. In some cases, it may be possible to have such a mixed configuration. Contact the helicopter tour operator directly and inquire about any options they may offer.

Will I get dizzy flying in a doors-off chopper?

Flying in a doors-off helicopter may induce dizziness for some individuals. It involves factors affecting sensory perception and equilibrium, like increased wind gusts, noise, and the sensation of speed. Additionally, factors like air turbulence, rapid maneuvers, and the visual stimuli of the surrounding landscape passing by quickly can also contribute to a disorienting experience for some individuals.

Can we snap clearer photos on doors-off tours?

With the door obstruction of the helicopter removed, your camera will surely have better exposure to scenic views. However, taking clearer, sharper photos in a doors-off helicopter tour can be challenging. The increased airflow can create turbulence and instability, making it harder to maintain a steady hand while taking photos.

Are doors-off helicopter rides windy?

Yes, doors-off helicopter tours can be windy. Since the doors are removed, the helicopter cabin is exposed to the outside environment, including the wind.

Is it safe to fly a helicopter tour with the doors removed?

Yes, flying a helicopter tour with the doors removed can be completely safe if proper precautions and safety measures are followed. Passengers are typically required to wear specialized safety harnesses or restraints. Additionally, operators usually provide a comprehensive safety briefing to all passengers before the flight.

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