Can the helicopter crew move the helicopter searchlights or are they always fixed at a specific location on the helicopter?

They are used by rescue helicopters mostly but I am not sure if crew can move them to look at specific area by some method or they are always fixed.

  • $\begingroup$ All light fixtures on a helicopter are fixed. Some, like search lights, can be pointed. $\endgroup$ Jan 30, 2019 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ To make your question clearer, you might like to add a picture of a helicopter that shows the lights you're asking about. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Jan 31, 2019 at 1:51
  • $\begingroup$ For future reference: strobe lights are the 'flashing' lights that flash white every second or so. $\endgroup$
    – Sanchises
    Jan 31, 2019 at 13:09

2 Answers 2


The question is some what unclear, but helicopters usually have some combination of 3 types of lights.

Landing light(s); fixed, sometimes pulsing, used for illuminating the area directly in front of and below the helicopter for landing.

Anti-collision light; fixed red and green and a strobe on the tail and sometimes the belly.

Search lights; directable, usually only used on military or para-public helicopters that fly at night. [SAR, Police, etc...]


By "searchlight" I assume you mean the high intensity units used to identify ground objects at night (example: the "NightSun" series). Those are usually fully steerable with their motion often slaved to a steerable video camera. Control is done by someone other than the pilot who is sufficiently busy flying the aircraft.


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