Landing Zone Safety Guidelines With LifeFlight | UnityPoint Health
LifeFlight helicopter

Landing Zones

Our first priority is safety. Safety for our crew, patients and those we are responding to. Please help us by always keeping safety as a priority when calling upon LifeFlight. The following information will help you establish a safe landing zone for LifeFlight.

Ground Safety

  • Restrict access to the landing zone area and helicopter.
  • Do not approach the helicopter unless escorted by flight crew or with permission of pilot.
  • Allow the LifeFlight team to direct loading and unloading of equipment and patients at all times.
  • Secure all loose items such as hats, sheets, mattresses and supplies that could get caught in the rotor wash. Don't chase items blown towards the helicopter.
  • Protect your eyes from blowing debris during landing and take off. Wear hearing protection while near a running helicopter.
  • Do not open and close doors. The LifeFlight crew will operate all doors.
  • No smoking around the helicopter
  • LifeFlight crew will assign one ground contact person to protect the tail rotor. This person will be placed at the front of the aircraft a minimum of 50 feet away between the 3 and 9 o'clock positions in the pilot's view.

Communication with LifeFlight

  • One pre-hospital care provider or hospital staff member would communicate directly with the LifeFlight crew member. Provide radio frequency and call sign of unit coordinating landing zone.
  • Provide LifeFlight with information that could help them identify the landing zone/accident location (i.e. direction and distance from town, major landmarks or highways). Provide GPS coordinates if available.
  • The preferred frequency is Mutual Aid.
  • At night, communicate how the landing zone is lit.
  • Communicate wind direction and location of potential obstructions/hazards (i.e. wires, trees or poles).
  • Identify any hazardous materials (petroleum, chemicals or nuclear) on scene.
  • The LifeFlight pilot will make a low reconnaissance pass before landing. Be prepared to point out landing and take off hazards and answer the pilot's questions.