Seaplane community & opportunities


Seaplane flying in Illinois is quite a bit different than many other states.  Being centrally located within the Midwest, we experience all 4 seasons for beautiful views from the air.  Most of Illinois is tall prairie grass and in many cases, has been converted to agricultural farm land.  Having the Shawnee National Forest in the southern part and rolling hills in the northwestern portions of the state we experience a variety of terrain during the expansive 385-mile length of the state.  Although we are limited to roughly 170 lakes, unlike our neighboring state (Wisconsin) which has 15,000, Illinois has over 800 miles of rivers.  Illinois forms part of a modern waterway which connects the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River.  Coincidentally, Lake Michigan being our Largest lake at 22,297 square miles only has 63 miles of lake front in Chicago.  The Mississippi River (along our western state line) and Ohio River (southern state line) meet in the southern portion of the state in a town called Cairo and is known as “Little Egypt”.  These rivers are frequently used by amphibious planes traversing the Midwest who have no landing gear.  Illinois has a number of opportunities for seaplane adventures!  Come join in!

Unfortunately, there are no known seaplane schools or commercial seaplane operators in Illinois.


Get more info on Flying Seaplanes in Illinois

Join the Seaplane Pilots Association

and help protect and promote water flying

Significant bodies of water
that are open include:

Lake Michigan Mississippi River Ohio River

Significant bodies of water
that are Closed include:

Seaplane Schools in Illinois

Commercial Seaplane Operators

Downloadable Resources

Report an Advocacy
Issue or Event

Have a seaplane advocacy issue or event in Illinois? Please tell us about it below, so we can publish it and work the issue if needed.

Illinois Field Directors

Illinois State Officials