Helicopters that can land on water are a critical element of various sectors such as military, search and rescue, and offshore industries. These helicopters have the ability to land on water bodies such as oceans, lakes, and rivers, offering advantages such as quicker landing in emergencies and avoidance of obstacles. In this article, we will discuss the types of helicopters that can land on water, their advantages, and disadvantages. So, let’s dive in!
Can Helicopters Land On Water?

Types of Helicopters that Can Land on Water

Here are some of the helicopters that can land on water:

  • Sea King: This helicopter is primarily used for military purposes and has the ability to land on water, making it useful for rescue missions and operations that require swift landing and takeoff.
  • MH-53: This helicopter is widely used by the US Air Force for various operations such as humanitarian aid, combat search and rescue, and special operations. Its unique design allows it to land on water in emergencies.
  • CH-46: This helicopter is commonly used by the US Marine Corps and is capable of landing on water, making it ideal for maritime missions such as rescue operations and amphibious assaults.

Advantages of Landing on Water

There are several advantages of helicopters that can land on water, including:

  • Avoidance of obstacles: Water bodies offer an obstacle-free landing zone, allowing pilots to avoid potential hazards such as buildings, trees, and power lines that can impede landing on solid ground.
  • Lower chance of damage: Landing on water is generally smoother and less hazardous than solid ground, which reduces the risk of damage to both the helicopter and occupants.
  • Quicker landing: Helicopters that can land on water have the ability to perform quicker landings in emergencies, which is particularly useful for search and rescue missions and operations involving critical medical patients.
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Disadvantages of Landing on Water

However, there are also potential disadvantages to landing a helicopter on water, including:

  • Difficult to control: Landing on water is more challenging than solid ground and requires greater pilot skill and experience to control the aircraft in water.
  • High risk of hydroplaning: With the helicopter’s rotor blades spinning at high speeds, there is a risk of hydroplaning, which can result in the loss of control and a crash.
  • Increased risk of capsizing: If the helicopter lands incorrectly on water, there is a risk of capsizing, which can be dangerous or even fatal for the occupants. It is important for pilots to be aware of water conditions, such as wind, waves, and currents, before landing on water.


In summary, helicopters that can land on water offer a range of advantages in emergency situations and specific industry sectors such as the offshore and military industries. Sea King, MH-53, and CH-46 are some common types of helicopters that can land on water. While water landings have their benefits, there are also some potential risks and challenges involved. Pilots should exercise caution and follow proper safety procedures when performing helicopter landings on water.

In conclusion, helicopter landings on water can be a useful tool for various industries, particularly in emergency situations. With proper training and experience, pilots can safely and effectively perform water landings when necessary.

James Blake

By James Blake

Does it fly? Then I am interested!

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