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Landing Zone (LZ) Requirements

Once a helicopter has been requested, there should always be a designated Landing Zone officer to coordinate aircraft landing and landing zone (LZ) security. Landing site consideration should include:

  • selection of a landing site with a minimum area of 100′ x 100′ clearance
  • consideration of slope of the ground and type of ground cover (loose debris etc)
  • consideration of obstructions/hazards (i.e.: wires, trees, light poles, vehicles)
  • consider presence of hazardous materials

The landing site should be a firm, level surface and should be free of debris and loose objects. Suitable landing sites can include parking lots, parks or athletic fields, and streets or highways. Although the helicopter is capable of taking off and landing straight up and down, it is generally safer to have a clear angle of approach to the landing zone.

Mark the landing zone by placing weighted orange highway cones in the four corners of the landing zone, or shining the headlights of rescue vehicles into the landing zone in an “X” pattern. The use of flares is not recommended, and never shine lights toward the helicopter as this may interfere with the pilot’s vision.

Communications between the LZ Officer and the pilot will be conducted over your community’s main fire radio frequency. The helicopter will attempt to contact the LZ Officer when the aircraft is less than five (5) minutes from the landing zone. At this time, the LZ Officer can relay information regarding description of the LZ, hazards around the perimeter, and confirmation that the LZ is secure. The most important function of the LZ Officer is to maintain safety and security.

As the helicopter approaches the landing site, it will circle the area making note of all the obstructions and hazards. It will then begin it’s final approach to landing. During the final approach, avoid unnecessary radio communications. The LZ Officer should maintain visual contact with the aircraft. If any safety hazards is of concern, it should be communicated to the pilot. If the LZ UNSAFE WAVEOFF SIGN is given, the pilot will abort it’s approach to a safe altitude until the hazard is eliminated.


All personnel should remain outside the diameter of the rotor blades at all times, unless accompanied by flight crew member.

NEVER approach ANY helicopter from the rear of the aircraft. Always approach and depart from the front and only when signaled to do so by the pilot or flight crew.

Do not allow unauthorized personnel within 200 feet of the aircraft, and keep vehicles at least 100 feet away from the aircraft.

Click on the link below for a copy of our Landing Zone Guide pamphlet.


Landing Zone Guide - See Below