Can a floatplane land on the ground?

This question was submitted by a recent visitor to the site.

Floatplanes are a type of seaplane, and have floats (or pontoons) mounted underneath their fuselage to act as landing gear.

Some floatplanes only have floats, and are only able to land in the water. However, some have floats as well as other landing gear, either built-in or available as an additional option, that allows them to land on a runway. An aircraft that can land on both water and ground is called an amphibious aircraft.

The Twin Otter is available as an amphibious floatplane; it can have floats for landing on water, and wheels for landing on ground. In addition, the Twin Otter can be outfitted with skis for landing on snow or ice or even especially large tires for landing on softer or rougher surfaces.

There’s a reason that Twin Otter airplanes enjoy such a great reputation for versatility. If you’ve got a situation where you could use the service of one of the world’s most versatile aircraft, let us know about your mission, and we’ll be happy to provide answers that help you decide if a Twin Otter is the right solution.