Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to common questions aboutphotography flights, flower drops, discovery flights and learning to fly a helicopter on Maui.
Flight Training Questions
How do I enroll as a flight student with Go Fly Maui?
Just call! If you have never flown a helicopter and aren’t sure you will like it, we offer an introductory flight where you will get to experience being the pilot.
Once you’ve decided you are ready to begin flight training there are a few forms to complete and we will need a copy of your driver’s license, passport or birth certificate and any pilot certificates if applicable. You will also need a flight medical certificate.
The enrolment process is simple process and takes about 15 minutes.
How long does training take from start to finish?
The amount of time it takes to complete our flight training program depends on the commitment of the student, the frequency in which you are able and willing to fly, and the time you commit to studying the bookwork.
Typically, a full-time student trains four or five days a week. Using this lesson schedule, a full-time student will obtain their Private Pilot Certificate in two to four months.
How often will I attend training?
Our program is flexible and we always aim to work with each of our students to develop a program that meets their desired schedule.
All of our training is conducted one on one which further allows students the flexibility to schedule their flights and ground sessions at their own pace. Our training program allows for both full and part time training.
I have a job. Can we schedule my training around my work schedule?
Yes! Go Fly Maui has a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) available six days a week. We are happy to work with you to create a flight schedule that works with your schedule.
You can fly on the weekends, before or after work, and in the evenings to meet your needs.
How long are the training sessions?
Students are scheduled, on average, in three-hour blocks. This allows for approximately one hour of ground instruction, one and a half hours of preflight and in air flight time, and a half hour for the post-flight debrief.
What kind of materials will I need for training?
There are a few textbooks, charts, a plotter, a Pilot Operating Handbook, and a logbook that you will need.
Your flight instructor will provide a list of required materials when you begin your training. You can purchase all materials through Go Fly Maui.
Will I need to purchase my own headset?
Go Fly Maui has headsets students may rent however, ultimately, most students do prefer to purchase their own.
Do you offer job placement?
Go Fly Maui cannot guarantee job placement. We are happy to give a referral or recommendation to another company looking for pilots. We do hire our own graduates when a position is available.
What are the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) minimum requirements?
FAA minimum requirements are the minimum requirements a student needs in order to obtain a specific certificate or rating. For example, the FAA minimum requirement for a Private Pilot Certificate is 40 hours of flight training.
It is important to note, however that minimums are just that, minimums. The average student takes approximately 60 hours to complete the Private Pilot Course.
Please keep in mind, most students do require flight instruction above and beyond the FAA minimum flight time requirements.
Is there a weight limit?
Due to aircraft operational limitations, students weighing more than 200 lb may be denied training in the Robinson R-22 Aircraft. Students weighing more than 275 lb may be denied training in the Robinson R-44.
Do you require full payment up front for flight training?
No. Go Fly Maui has a pay-as-you go policy. Payment is due at the time of the flight or ground session.
Students are able to pay with cash, check or credit/debit card. He/she may also choose to place funds on account and use as they go through training and refill as needed. If students wish to pay via credit card a convenience fee of 3.0% will be applied to every transaction.
What if I am unable to complete my training and still have money on account?
Go Fly Maui will refund any money left on your account, in the event that you are unable to complete your course of instruction.
Does Go Fly Maui offer financing?
At this time, we do not directly offer financing. However, we can direct you to several companies that offer financial assistance to flight students.
Photography Flight Questions
Am I allowed to bring my DLSR camera and/or video camera on a Go Fly Maui helicopter?
Yes! In fact, we encourage it! Bring your camera, bring your lenses. This is your custom flight to capture the images you’ve been wanting to shoot.
Does Go Fly Maui fly doors off?
Yes! We fly doors off so you don’t have to shoot through any window glass.
Do photo flights have pre-set routes?
No. We work with you, the photographer, to design a flight that meets your needs and desired shoot locations. We know Maui very well and are happy to make recommendations, but this is your flight.
What lens is best for shooting from the helicopter?
There is no one “best lens” for everything. Most photographers find that a 24mm-70mm is a very versatile focal length and works very well for shooting from the helicopter.
Does my camera need a strap?
Yes. All camera gear needs to have at least a neck strap or some kind of lanyard. Since we fly with all the doors off this is to prevent anything from flying out of the helicopter.
Can I change lenses midflight?
Yes, your pilot will review important safety into regarding switching lenses midflight.
How long can I fly?
We book by the flight time and can customize the flight to your specific needs. Many photographers find that one to two hours is an ideal flight time to capture the epic shots they are seeking.
Can I bring my GoPro along in addition to my camera?
Yes, absolutely. Just let us know prior to your flight.
I'm an amateur photographer, can I still book a photo flight on Maui?
Yes. Our photo flights are designed and custom tailored for the unique needs of photographers, both professional and dedicated amateurs.
I don't really want to take pictures. Can I just book a tour?
No. Our photo flights are designed for photographers and have a dedicated purpose and outcome. If you are seeking a tour, we recommend you reach out to a dedicated helicopter tour company.
Can you drop me off at a shoot location and pick me up later?
No, we do not offer transport from point A to point B. All flights start and finish at the same location, as part of the same flight.
I want to learn how to take great photos from the helicopter. Do you offer any instruction or classes?
Yes! We’ve helped many photographers learn the nuance of taking photos from a helicopter.
Check out our Aerial Photography Academy page.
Amateur photographers learn the fundamentals of aerial photography, and how to shoot from a helicopter. Advanced and professional photographers gain insight on how to capitalize on the aerial perspective and distinguish their photos from the rest.
Does the pilot understand the unique needs of a photographer?
Yes! Our pilots are also aerial photography instructors and can help with all facets of your flight, including putting you in the ideal spot for capturing that perfect image.
What do you do if the weather forecast calls for rain?
In most cases, the weather is still very flyable. It is very normal to have rain in the forecast on Maui, especially during the winter months. Often a rainy morning or evening can produce stunning waterfalls that otherwise would not be flowing. In the event of extreme weather that requires us to cancel your flight, we will work with you to reschedule to a more conducive time. If we are unable to reschedule, we will offer a full refund.
Flower Drop Questions
What types of flower drops do you offer?
Flower drops can be arranged to punctuate any special occasion. Common flower drop events include weddings, proposals, blessings, anniversary celebrations, memorials, paddle outs, funerals, graduations, retirement parties, birthday events, May Day, Lei Day and baby gender reveals.
What type of flowers should we use for our flower drop?
Light weight flowers such as plumerias, rose petals, and bougainvillea are ideal.
Who provides the flowers for our flower drop?
You are also welcome to provide your own by picking yourself or buying from a florist. If you are providing flowers, we will arrange to meet you prior to your flight to pack the flowers before your scheduled drop time.
Go Fly Maui is happy to provide the flowers for an additional charge separate from the helicopter rate.
Are there types of flowers we should avoid?
Yes. Heavy flowers such as protea and/or flowers with stems, thistles, etc., do not work for flower drops.
How many flowers are required for a good flower drop?
- 1,000-3,000 flowers will provide a nice display for the drop. 1,000 flower petals will roughly fill half of a contractor trash bag.
- 2,000 flower petals will fill a whole contractor trash bag.
- 3,000 flower petals will fill two large contractor trash bags.
The more flowers we use, the more vibrant the display.
Can someone from my party ride in the helicopter to help drop the flowers?
Yes. You are welcome to come along on the flight to help drop the flowers. But don’t worry … if everyone from your party wants to see the event from the ground we are happy to provide the additional people required to drop the flowers from the helicopter. No additional cost.
Are flowers the only thing we are allowed to drop from the helicopter?
No. We have a special container for ash scatterings and powder gender reveals.
All materials are biodegradable and environmentally safe.
Where do you offer flower drop flights?
Go Fly Maui offers helicopter flower drops and flower showers for special occasions across Maui County, including Maui, Lānaʻi, Molokaʻi.
How much do flower drops cost?
Please call us to discuss your event so we can provide an accurate estimate.
Discovery Flight Questions
I've never flown a helicopter before. Can I still book a discovery flight?
Absolutely! Our discovery flight is designed for individuals who do not have any experience. We will walk you through a safety briefing and ground session to prepare you for your flight and your flight instructor will be guiding you every step of the way.
Do I really get to fly?
Yes! The whole point of the discovery flight is for you to have the opportunity to fly. We have dual controls put in the helicopter so your instructor has a set of controls and you do too. Your instructor will guide you through the process one set of controls as a time.
Do I need to bring anything for my flight?
Please bring legal ID such as a driver’s license/permit or passport. We will provide everything else.
How old do I need to be in order to fly?
We require the “pilot in training” to be at least 15 years old. Parents/guardians are welcome to join and sit in the back seat. No additional cost.
My spouse/partner doesn't want to take the controls. Can they still come on the flight?
Yes! Absolutely. He/she are welcome to sit in the back seat. No additional cost.
How long is a discovery flight?
We have a 30-minuite minimum, however, you are welcome to fly longer. Many of our clients find that an hour-long flight is the perfect amount of time to really get the feel for what it’s like to be the pilot.
Where do we fly?
Typically, we stick to Maui’s North Shore and our practice area towards South Maui. This flight path is the most conducive for new pilots just learning to fly.
Will I still see cool things on my flight?
Yes! Maui has a lot of wonderful things you will see from the air everywhere we fly.
What happens after my discovery flight if I want to continue flight training?
The flight time you earn during your discovery flight will count towards a future license. After the discovery flight your instructor can outline the next steps to enrolling in flight training if you wish to continue your training.
Still have questions? Just ask!