Scene Landing Zone Selection

The landing zone (LZ) coordinator plays a vital role when Air Care is transporting critically injured patients.    

Besides selecting the landing zone and locating hazards, the LZ coordinator must relay all this information to the aircrew and secure the LZ until the aircraft departs the scene.  Once the landing zone is established the LZ Coordinator radios a description to aircrew: 

Size – 100 feet by 100 feet (minimum)

Slope – Relatively flat (less then 10 degrees)

Surface – Free of debris (report if hard, soft, wet, height of vegetation)

Surroundings – Identify power lines, antennas, trees, fences, poles, etc. 

Additionally, remember these safety tips:

  • Wear appropriate eye and hearing protection. 
  • Remain at least 100 feet from the aircraft during takeoff and landing. 
  • Keep all vehicles at least 100 feet away from aircraft at all times.
  • Secure loose items so they are not ingested by the engine or rotor system.
  • No smoking permitted within 100 feet of the aircraft. 

The LZ is usually a place people want to see, however with the exception of the LZ coordinator, no one, civilian or emergency personnel, should be in or near the LZ.  The LZ Coordinator must secure the LZ prior to the helicopter landing or shut down, during patient loading and during helicopter start up / departure.   

To safely operate as a LZ Coordinator, an individual must be properly trained through an Air Care LZ class.  To schedule an LZ class, sign up at  Thanks to all of our landing zone coordinators for helping West Michigan Air Care maintain a high level of safety.

By Shawn Maxwell, Pilot
Safety Manager, West Michigan Air Care

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