An experimental evaluation of an airborne depth-sounding Lidar is described. The system, called FLASH (FOA laser airborne sounder for hydrography), is based on a scanning frequency-doubled Nd:YAG laser carried by a helicopter. An in-situ profiling instrument for measuring water parameters is also described. This system, called HOSS (hydro-optical sensor system), is also carried by a helicopter and has been used to collect data in parallel with the lidar measurements. A discussion of the lidar performance coupled to the measured water and instrumental parameters is included. Examples of measured wave forms are compared with those obtained by analytical and Monte Carlo modeling.