Helicopter Landing Zone Selection
Consider the following points when selecting a landing zone for a helicopter:
- Locate a flat area that is of sufficient size for the type of helicopter you are expecting.
- Type 1 – Clear and level touchdown pad measuring 30 feet by 30 feet; safety circle measuring 110 feet in diameter.
- Type 2 – Clear and level touchdown pad measuring 20 feet by 20 feet; safety circle measuring 90 feet in diameter.
- Type 3 – Clear and level touchdown pad measuring 15 feet by 15 feet; safety circle measuring 75 feet in diameter.
- Choose an area clear of people, vehicles, and obstructions such as trees, poles, and, especially, overhead wires.
- The area must be free of stumps, brush, posts, large rocks, or anything over 18 inches high.
- Consider the wind direction. Helicopters land and take off into the wind.
- Choose an approach free of obstructions. Any obstruction you cannot eliminate should be relayed to the helicopter crew during initial radio contact.
- Remove or secure any loose items in and around the landing area such as trash, blankets, hats, or equipment.
- Wet down the landing area if dusty conditions are present.
Incident Management Situation Report (IMSR)
Incident Response Pocket Guide (IRPG), PMS 461
NWCG Standards for Helicopter Operations, PMS 510
RT-130, Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Refresher (WFSTAR)
Interagency Standards for Fire and Fire Aviation Operations (Red Book)
Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center
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