Jefferson University Hospitals

Safety and Landing Zone Information

When scheduling JeffSTAT for air medical transport, please adhere to the following guidelines for safety and landing.

1. Choosing a Landing Zone

  • Try to select a landing zone that is adjacent to the scene to avoid the need for ground transport that could prolong a patient's prehospital time.
  • Select a landing zone that will allow for an angled approach from at least one direction. This approach and departure path should be clear of towers, poles, wires, trees, signs and other obstructions.

2. Touchdown Area

  • Select a touchdown area that is as flat as possible. The slope should not be more than 5 degrees.
  • Ensure the touchdown surface is firm. Parking lots, roads, sport fields and other locations are most desirable.
  • The size of the landing zone during the day should be 75 by 75 feet. The size of the landing zone during the night should be 100 by 100 feet.
  • Ensure the touchdown area is free of debris and obstructions. Wet the landing zone if it is dusty or has loose gravel.
  • Keep spectators and vehicles away from the landing zone.

3. Marking the Touchdown Area

  • Use flares, cones or LEDs to mark the four corners of the landing zone.
  • Position an emergency vehicle near the landing zone with its warning lights on.


4. Designation of a Landing Zone Officer

  • Designate a landing officer to communicate with the helicopter crew as soon as they are dispatched. Notify the emergency dispatch center of the frequency you intend to communicate on.
  • Provide the helicopter crew with a description of the landing zone prior to their arrival. Include the size of the landing zone, how it is marked, a list of any nearby obstructions and the wind direction and speed.
  • Notify the helicopter crew when you have them in sight. Immediately notify the crew if any last-minute hazards are detected or if an unsafe condition develops.

5. Safety Pointers

  • Do not approach the helicopter until motioned to do so by a crewmember.
  • Remain clear of the tail rotor and main rotor at all times.
  • Secure all loose belongings that may be disrupted by rotor wash.
  • Do not flash any bright lights at the aircraft.
  • There should be no smoking within 200 feet of the aircraft.

Contact JeffSTAT for a Helicopter Safety Presentation and Demo

Our staff is available to conduct helicopter safety presentations for your organization. This includes a presentation from the flight crew followed by a demonstration with the helicopter. This is a continuing education program approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Please contact Christopher Reif, Physician Liaison, at 215-503-9280 or to schedule this training.