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AIM 

6/17/21 

e.  Helping the Flightcrew Locate the Scene 

1. 

If the LZ coordinator has access to a GPS unit, 

the exact latitude and longitude of the LZ should be 
relayed to the HEMS pilot. If unable to contact the 
pilot directly, relay the information to the HEMS 
ground communications specialist for relaying to the 
pilot, so that they may locate your scene more 
efficiently.  Recognize that the aircraft may approach 
from a direction different than the direct path from the 
takeoff point to the scene, as the pilot may have to 
detour around terrain, obstructions or weather 
en route. 

2. 

Especially in daylight hours, mountainous 

and densely populated areas can make sighting a 
scene from the air difficult. Often, the LZ coordinator 
on the ground will be asked if she or he can see or hear 
the helicopter. 

3. 

Flightcrews use a clock reference method for 

directing one another’s attention to a certain direction 
from the aircraft. The nose of the aircraft is always 
12 o’clock, the right side is 3 o’clock, etc. When the 
LZ coordinator sees the aircraft, he/she should use 
this method to assist the flightcrew by indicating the 
scene’s clock reference position from the nose of the 
aircraft. For example, “Accident scene is located at 
your 2 o’clock position.” See FIG 10

2

6. 

FIG 10

2

“Clock” System for Identifying Positions 

Relative to the Nose of the Aircraft 

4. 

When the helicopter approaches the scene, it 

will normally orbit at least one time as the flight crew 
observes the wind direction and obstacles that could 
interfere with the landing. This is often referred to as 
the “high reconnaissance” maneuver. 

f.  Wind Direction and Touchdown Area 

1. 

Determine from which direction the wind is 

blowing. Helicopters normally land and takeoff into 
the wind. 

2. 

If contact can be established with the pilot, 

either directly or indirectly through the HEMS 
ground communications specialist, describe the wind 
in terms of the direction the wind is 

from

 and the 

speed. 

3. 

Common natural sources of wind direction 

information are smoke, dust, vegetation movement, 
water streaks and waves. Flags, pennants, streamers 
can also be used. When describing the direction, use 
the compass direction from which the wind is 
blowing (example: from the North

West). 

4. 

Wind speed can be measured by small 

hand

held measurement devices, or an observer’s 

estimate can be used to provide velocity information. 
The wind value should be reported in knots (nautical 
miles per hour). If unable to numerically measure 
wind speed, use TBL 10

2

3 to estimate velocity. 

Also, report if the wind conditions are gusty, or if the 
wind direction or velocity is variable or has changed 
recently. 

5. 

If any obstacle(s) exist, ensure their descrip-

tion, position and approximate height are 
communicated to the pilot on the initial radio call. 

10

2

12 

Special Operations