Carolinas HealthCare System
MedCenter Air

Helicopter Landing Zone Guidelines

Landing Zone Guidelines view from the ground Landing Zone Guidelines view from the air

Please use the following guidelines to establish a safe landing zone:

  • Information needed to launch the aircraft:
  • Name, agency and call-back number
  • County
  • Landing Zone (LZ) location and Latitude/Longitude (if available)
  • LZ command call sign and radio frequency with PL
  • Number of patients for transport
  • Type of incident

Guidelines to prepare a safe landing zone:

  • Minimum of 100 feet by 100 feet area
  • No more than a five-degree slope
  • Free of people, vehicles and obstructions such as stumps, bushes, tall grass, rocks, logs or stakes
  • The approach path should be clear of wires, poles, antennas and trees
  • Walk the LZ to ensure it is clear from obstacles
  • Wires may be obvious from the ground, but invisible from the air

The LZ Commander should provide the pilot with the following information:

  • The Landing Zone Coordinator should be free from providing direct patient care and dedicated to landing the aircraft
  • Landmarks to help identify the LZ, such as schools, major roads, towers and power lines
  • LZ descriptions
  • Type of LZ (roadway, field, construction site)
  • LZ surface (grass, concrete, gravel, dirt)
  • Boundaries of LZ (trees, houses, wires, fences, towers)
  • Notify the pilot when you hear the aircraft and when you see the aircraft
  • Direct the aircraft to your location using the clock method. (The aircraft always points to the 12 o'clock position)

Landing Zone from the Air (LZ from the air)

During landing:

  • Ensure all loose items are secured
  • Close all ambulance doors and vehicle windows

Once the aircraft has landed:

  • Keep emergency vehicles back 100 feet
  • Keep the public back 300 feet
  • Position the tail rotor guard 50 feet behind the aircraft at the 7 o'clock position

What not to do:

  • Never approach the aircraft without permission from the pilot
  • Do not shine lights at the aircraft
  • Do not wear baseball caps or other unsecured clothing near the aircraft

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