My wife and I stopped for a night in Hokitika on our way down to Queenstown/Milford. The manager of the house where we stayed suggested going to the gorge, and she recommended checking out Precision Helicopters as I had mentioned that we might like an aerial tour of the glaciers. So we did this almost on a whim as we just stopped by that morning and another couple happened to show up a few minutes later so there were enough passengers to do the tour, and the weather looked good.
This business is the very definition of a mom and pop operation, but that doesn't mean you sacrifice anything in terms of quality, service, or safety. It was apparent right away that Matt, the owner and chief pilot, was a real pro. His daughter Lilly was also lovely and did a comprehensive safety briefing. I've been in hundreds of planes but never a helicopter before so it was a bit of a different experience. I never had any concern though because Matt is highly experienced and supremely confident at the controls.
Matt has deep knowledge of the local geography and weather and he quickly adjusted the route based on cloud cover and the wind to maximize what we saw. The conditions weren't right in summer to actually land on a glacier so he took us to a plateau to get some air and photos. We didn't feel rushed at all and the total time was probably 15 minutes or so more than advertised. All in all, this was truly a once in a lifetime experience, and I would absolutely recommend Precision Helicopters to anyone thinking about seeing the beauty of the South Island from a different perspective.