Barry Stone of Vacations & Travel Magazine flies to Hawaii’s Big Island to experience Kilauea volcano. 

“While visiting Hawaii recently, I became aware of a phrase I’d never heard before. And it’s a real cracker. In the technical vernacular of the seasoned helicopter pilot, a ‘doors-off’ flight isn’t some vanilla compromise where a helicopter’s doors might actually still be somehow attached after take-off but are maybe left open or placed somewhere out of the way. ‘Doors-off’ means what it says. They are taken off, physically removed prior to the flight, not present to be called upon should a passenger at some point decide to totally freak out.

On a recent flight to see Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island, the youngest and most active of all Hawaii’s volcanos, I experienced it firsthand, and once the Paradise Helicopters chopper took off, there was nothing except a substantial downdraft between me and potential oblivion. And to think I paid extra for this privilege.

Thoughts of oblivion were no match for the cascading layers of sensory overload I was about to experience. Flying over the extraordinarily visceral landscape that Kilauea (a Hawaiian word meaning “spewing”) has been patiently building over the past 275,000 years inspires only wonder…”

Read more HERE