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Helicopter Safety Tips & Landing Zone

Helicopter Safety Tips & Landing Zone

St. Mary's LifeFlight Safety Tips and Landing Zone Information

St. Mary's LifeFlight and designated trained flight crew are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.General Helicopter Safety Considerations:

  • Approach the aircraft only after receiving a signal from the pilot.
  • Always approach from the front of the helicopter.  Never approach from the tail.
  • Never hold anything above eye level.
  • No smoking or running within 50 feet of the helicopter.
  • Crowds should be kept 100 feet from the helicopter at all times.
  • Assure that all personal equipment is secure (i.e. no hats, no mattresses or sheets on the stretcher that can be blown away or up into the rotor system).


  • Flight crew will direct all loading and unloading
  • Aircraft doors will only be handled by the flight crew
  • Be prepared for loading/unloading with a patient cart (remove the mattress and all linens) and full portable oxygen tanks

Guidelines for Scene Operations

Preparing the Landing Zone (LZ) is the first step to safely land a helicopter.LifeFlight Landing Zone Requirements

Landing Zone Requirements

  • 100' x 100' minimum preferred
  • Obstruction-free:  No wires, trees, poles, etc.
  • 2 paths of approach/departure
  • Mark LZ with vehicle lights crossed, secured cones, or secured strobes
  • Area should be level and free of debris
  • Illuminate nearby obstructions at night
  • Secure LZ (allow no one to enter)
  • HAZMAT:  land aircraft 1 mile upwind of incident
  • Once your LZ is determined, inform LifeFlight dispatch of your location using GPS coordinates if available or the name of a major nearby intersection


  • The pilot will contact you on the radio
  • Only one person should communicate with the aircraft
  • Describe Landing Zone
  • Describe any hazards such as trees, poles, wires, etc.
  • Give wind direction

Notify Pilot When Aircraft is in Sight

  • Stand upwind with hands raised overhead
  • Leave LZ when helicopter is on 1/4 mile final or when directed by the pilot
  • Approach aircraft only under the direction of the Pilot
  • Remain at LZ until helicopter departs

 LifeFlight Dispatch Number (800) 426-0911



© 2015 St. Mary's Health System   |  3700 Washington Avenue  |  Evansville, IN 47750  |  (812) 485-4000