Seaplane community & opportunities


Kentucky has some wonderful opportunities for seaplane flying.  The northern border is outlined by the Ohio River, and there are several large bodies of water within the state.  The three most notable are Lake Cumberland, Kentucky Lake, and Lake Barkley.  However, there are few facilities for seaplanes, so plan ahead if you are on straight floats.  Other than the seaplane base on the Ohio River at Rising Sun, Indian, there are no permanent facilities for seaplanes to refuel.   As there is not a much seaplane activity occurring in the state, the locals are very receptive to seaplanes and find them quite interesting and welcome their use.

Lake Cumberland provide some of the best fishing and water sports in the country.  During the summer months, the lake can be quite busy, so seaplane pilots should be vigilant of the boaters.  A few times during the year, there are boating events such as poker runs, which can attract over 1500 boats on the water.  During such times, seaplane activity should be minimized as the boaters are not accustomed to operating around seaplanes.

Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake comprise the Land Between the Lakes national recreational area.  The Land Between the Lands is located between the lakes in the southwestern portion of the Kentucky and the northwest area of Tennessee.  This area offers additional recreational activities for the whole family.  As such, it makes a great destination for a family retreat.  As noted earlier, pilots with straight float aircraft should coordinate with local marinas or FBO to have fuel delivered.

If flying on the Ohio river, seaplane pilots must be vigilant of the various classes of airspace.  When near Cincinnati, the KCVG class B airspace extends over significant portions of the Ohio.  If flying near Louisville, Kentucky, on the Ohio, there are portions of the river very close to class surface portion of the KSDF class C airspace.  Most of the Ohio river near Louisville has Class C controlled airspace above.


Get more info on Flying Seaplanes in Kentucky

Join the Seaplane Pilots Association

and help protect and promote water flying

Significant bodies of water
that are open include:

Lake Cumberland, Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley, Ohio River, Cumberland River

Significant bodies of water
that are Closed include:

Laural River Lake, requires prior permission from the National Forest Service — Cave Run Lake, requires prior permission the National Forest Service

Seaplane Schools in Kentucky

Commercial Seaplane Operators

Downloadable Resources

Report an Advocacy
Issue or Event

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

Kentucky Field Directors

Kentucky State Officials