Landing Zone Criteria
The landing zone must be 100’X100’ during the day or night and be free of obstacles, hazards and debris. The site should be firm, avoiding slopes greater than five degrees if at all possible. Soft sand or dirt landing sites should be wet down while LIFE FORCE is enroute.
When the LZ Commander has a visual contact on the aircraft, they should give their location related to clock position. A proper guide to use is what relation your position is to the inbound aircraft.
LIFE FORCE Landing Zone Setup Procedure
The following is a list of procedures and responsibilities of the LZ Commander that are taken from the material provided to support agencies during a"Scene Team Training Class" conducted by LIFE FORCE personnel.If your agency is within LIFE FORCE’s normal response area and would like to schedule this type of training, contact423-778-5427 or click here to request an LZ training class.
Step 1: Once LZ Command has been assigned, the LZ Commander (LZC) will go to the scene of the incident. If no appropriate LZ is found, then begin searching from incident being center point, outward.
KEEP LZ AS CLOSE TO THE ACTUAL SCENE AS POSSIBLE
Step 2: Once an appropriate area has been located, identify the center of the planned touch down area and verify that it is safe for landing the helicopter.
ASSIGN PERSONNEL TO THEIR LZ POSITIONS NOW
Step 3: Determine wind direction and estimated speed. Identify all obstacles.
Step 4: Mark the landing zone (LZ) with the appropriate equipment.
Step 5: Walk the entire outer perimeter of the LZ. Make sure all debris is either removed or secured. Mark all obstacles to allow easy identification from the air.
Step 6: Inspect the inner area of the LZ by walking in a similar manner as in Step 5until you cover the entire area. Remove all loose debris.
Step 7: From the center of the LZ, survey the entire area. Look first for any ground level obstacles which may have been overlooked and secure them. Next, beginning at ground level and slowly looking upwards,rotate yourself 360 degrees and note all elevated obstacles/hazards (wires, power poles, trees, etc.).
Step 8: Move to the outer perimeter, with your back to the wind and face the center of the LZ, check for obstacles once more, prepare for helicopter arrival.
ALL PERSONNEL INVOLVED WITH LZ SECURITY MUST BE PREPARED FOR HIGH WINDS AND NOISE. HELMETS MUST BE SECURED WITH CHIN STRAP AND BLAST SHIELD DOWN, TURN-OUT GEAR SECURED, COLLARS UP.
Step 9: Once LIFE FORCE calls for LZ Command, identify yourself and give location of the LZ in relation to the incident. Next give wind direction, speed, and description of all obstacles/hazards. LIFE FORCE will acknowledge the information before turning into "short final."
Step 10: As the helicopter maneuvers into the LZ, watch for sudden appearances of undetected obstacles/hazards. If such factors threaten the aircraft or safety of the scene then give the ABORT instructions.
Step 11: Once the helicopter has landed, make sure you position yourself in front of the aircraft (12 o’clock) at 10-15 yards from the rotor disk.
Step 12: Make sure the tail rotor guard is in proper position at the rear of the helicopter (6 o’clock, 10-15 yards minimum from the tail rotor). If side guards are available, their respective positions at 9 and3 o’clock, 10-15 yards from the rotor disk.
Step 13: The flight crew will exit the helicopter and make contact with you and obtain any details not relayed during LIFE FORCE response.
Step 14: Manage LZ activities. Do not allow anyone or any vehicle to rush or approach the helicopter without flight crew approval.
Step 15: Keeping eye contact with the pilot, give the "thumbs up" signal when loading is complete and all support personnel are clear of the primary LZ. This signal, coupled with internal communications with the aircraft crew members will allow the pilot to begin start up or take off procedures.
Step 16: Once the helicopter has cleared the LZ, make a quick overhaul of the area.Look for any equipment or medical supplies that may have been left behind.
Step 17: Dismantle LZ markers, reassign personnel. Close LZ.
The LZ Commander or their designee is requested to report any safety related concerns encountered during LZ operations to LIFE FORCE Communications at (423) 778-5433.