We sailed on the Rotterdams' first trip down the Orinoco River in late 2000 and remember the River Pilot boarding the ship by helicopter very early in the morning before we entered the river.
Many of us gathered in the Crows Nest to witness the event. The helicopter made an expert landing, on the specially positioned, large white 'H' marking which had been put in place on the bow prior to his arrival. I don't believe we witnessed his departure for some reason, however, the large white 'H' disappeared once we left the River.
I'm not sure how usual, or otherwise, such landings are, but for us it was, and remains a gem of a memory.....