Helicopter Transport and Landing Zone Safety Preparing a Landing Zone
If you are responsible for selecting the Landing Zone, you should:
- Be the person in radio contact with the helicopter pilot
- Walk the area to determine any hazards near the Landing Zone, such as power lines, which are difficult to see, especially at night
- If setting up Landing Zone at night and power/light poles are noted, walk to the pole and determine where the wires go from the pole
- If landing at night, once the landing zone is confirmed by the pilot, you may be asked to turn off all white lights
The helicopter pilot will contact you on your radio frequency. The pilot will need to know:
- Location of the Landing Zone -- i.e. "Two miles north of town"
- Wind direction and speed - i.e. "from the west at 5 mph"
- Hazards around and near the Landing Zone - i.e. "Wires to the east of the Landing Zone at tree height and fence to the north"
- When you can see the helicopter. At this time, please direct the pilot, if he hasn't seen you, by telling him to turn east, west, north or south, or to his left or right.
Flight For Life Colorado pilots use GPS coordinates to assist them in finding the scene. Based on your description of the patient's geographic location,Flight For LIfe Communications will determine those coordinates. It's not necessary for scene personnel to provide the GPS coordinates, and we will not delay a helicopter's launch waiting for coordinates.
The pilot will work to keep the landing zone as close to the scene as possible. If the pilot requests a different landing zone, he may have noted some hazard from the air that may not have been apparent from the ground.