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AIM 

6/17/21 

g.  Night LZs 

1. 

There are several ways to light a night LZ: 

(a) 

Mark the touchdown area with five lights 

or road flares, one in each corner and one indicating 
the direction of the wind. See FIG 10

2

7. 

FIG 10

2

Recommended Lighting for 

Landing Zone Operations at Night 

NOTE

 

Road flares are an intense source of ignition and may be 
unsuitable or dangerous in certain conditions. In any case, 
they must be closely managed and firefighting equipment 
should be present when used. Other light sources are 
preferred, if available. 

(b) 

If chemical light sticks may be used, care 

should be taken to assure they are adequately secured 
against being dislodged by the helicopter’s rotor 
wash. 

(c) 

Another method of marking a LZ uses four 

emergency vehicles with their low beam headlights 
aimed toward the intended landing area. 

(d) 

A third method for marking a LZ uses two 

vehicles. Have the vehicles direct their headlight 
beams into the wind, crossing at the center of the LZ. 
(If fire/rescue personnel are available, the reflective 
stripes on their bunker gear will assist the pilot 
greatly.) 

2. 

At night, spotlights, flood lights and hand 

lights used to define the LZ are not to be pointed at the 
helicopter. However, they are helpful when pointed 
toward utility poles, trees or other hazards to the 
landing aircraft. White lights such as spotlights, 
flashbulbs and hi

beam headlights ruin the pilot’s 

night vision and temporarily blind him. Red lights, 
however, are very helpful in finding accident 

locations and do not affect the pilot’s night vision as 
significantly. 

3. 

As in Day LZ operations, ensure radio contact 

is accomplished between ground and air, if possible. 

h.  Ground Guide 

1. 

When the helicopter is in sight, one person 

should assist the LZ Coordinator by guiding the 
helicopter into a safe landing area. In selecting an LZ 
Coordinator, recognize that medical personnel 
usually are very busy with the patient at this time. It 
is recommended that the LZ Coordinator be someone 
other than a medical responder, if possible. Eye 
protection should be worn. The ground guide should 
stand with his/her back to the wind and his/her arms 
raised over his/her head (flashlights in each hand for 
night operations.) 

2. 

The pilot will confirm the LZ sighting by 

radio. If possible, once the pilot has identified the LZ, 
the ground guide should move out of the LZ. 

3. 

As the helicopter turns into the wind and 

begins a descent, the LZ coordinator should provide 
assistance by means of radio contact, or utilize the 
“unsafe signal” to wave off the helicopter if the LZ is 
not safe (see FIG 10

2

8). The LZ Coordinator 

should be far enough from the touchdown area that 
he/she can still maintain visual contact with the pilot. 

i.  Assisting the Crew 

1. 

After the helicopter has landed, do not 

approach the helicopter. The crew will approach you. 

2. 

Be prepared to assist the crew by providing 

security for the helicopter. If asked to provide 
security, allow no one but the crew to approach the 
aircraft. 

3. 

Once the patient is prepared and ready to load, 

allow the crew to open the doors to the helicopter and 
guide the loading of the patient. 

4. 

When approaching or departing the helicop-

ter, always be aware of the tail rotor and always 
follow the directions of the crew. Working around a 
running helicopter can be potentially dangerous.  The 
environment is very noisy and, with exhaust gases 
and rotor wash, often windy. In scene operations, the 
surface may be uneven, soft, or slippery which can 
lead to tripping. Be very careful of your footing in this 
environment. 

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Special Operations