We just returned from Hawaii 03/14/03 and took the helicopter tour, pricey but worth every penny!! Don't count on seeing the lava flow at night, the captain sent around a notice stating we would pass the lava flow at 1:30 am, so we set our clock went and stand out there and saw...........not much. Was not exciting at all. As a matter of fact most of the lava is flowing directly into the ocean underground, even from the air we only saw a small lava hole with red lava, but still worth it. Our helicopter ride lasted about 2 hours, the first hour dedicated to the volcano and all it's sights. We left from Kona, re-fueled in Hilo and continued on down the coast. He took us into Jurassic park like valleys, saw a few water falls (or trickles,no rain) and even pointed out a mother whale with her calf. At the end you could buy a video of your helicopter ride. It was very interesting and very worth it, go for the helicopter.