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Special Operations

b. The information provided is largely based on

the booklet, LZ − Preparing the Landing Zone, issued

by National Emergency Medical Services Pilots

Association (NEMSPA), and the guidance developed

by the University of Tennessee Medical Center’s

LIFESTAR program, and is used with their

permission. For additional information, go to

c. Information concerning the estimation of wind

velocity is based on the Beaufort Scale. See

for more information.

d. Selecting a Scene LZ

1. If the situation requires the use of a helicopter,

first check to see if there is an area large enough to

land a helicopter safely.

FIG 10−2−4

Recommended Minimum Landing Zone Dimensions

2. For the purposes of FIG 10−2−4 the follow-

ing are provided as examples of relative helicopter


(a) Small Helicopter: Bell 206/407, Euro-

copter AS−350/355, BO−105, BK−117.

(b) Medium Helicopter: Bell UH−1 (Huey)

and derivatives (Bell 212/412), Bell 222/230/430

Sikorsky S−76, Eurocopter SA−365.

(c) Large Helicopter: Boeing Chinook,

Eurocopter Puma, Sikorsky H−60 series

(Blackhawk), SK−92.

3. The LZ should be level, firm and free of loose

debris that could possibly blow up into the rotor


4. The LZ should be clear of people, vehicles

and obstructions such as trees, poles and wires.

Remember that wires are difficult to see from the air.

The LZ must also be free of stumps, brush, post and

large rocks. See FIG 10−2−5.

FIG 10−2−5

Landing Zone Hazards

5. Keep spectators back at least 200 feet. Keep

emergency vehicles 100 feet away and have fire

equipment (if available) standing by. Ground

personnel should wear eye protection, if available,

during landing and takeoff operations.  To avoid loose

objects being blown around in the LZ, hats should be

removed; if helmets are worn, chin straps must be

securely fastened.

6. Fire fighters (if available) should wet down

the LZ if it is extremely dusty.