Helicopters land on docks, flat rocks and open spaces. Helicopter's blades generate high winds (rotor down wash) reaching speeds of up to 100 mph, which can be hazardous.

It is essential to clear docks and potential landing zones of any loose objects or debris so it is not picked up by rotor down wash which could cause the helicopter to malfunction or even crash.

• Clear potential landing areas of everything 150 feet away from landing zone that is not secure, including boats, canoes, kayaks, sticks, lumber, plywood, lawn chairs, tables, tarps, garbage bags/cans, etc.

•In the winter, pack down any fresh snow to avoid whiteout conditions or warn the aircrew of loose or powder snow conditions.

• Relocate boats so they are secured away from any docks which may be used for landing: clear dock of everything.

Position someone in an orange fluorescent vest (such as those emergency workers wear) on the dock or shoreline.  This is highly visible to pilots searching for the location needing assistance.

• Avoid waving your hands above your head to attract attention; this is the universal “wave -­‐ off” signal that tells a pilot NOT to land.

• Take cover inside while a helicopter is arriving or departing. Stay 200 feet away and wait for instructions from the helicopter crew.

• Avert your eyes to protect them from winds/rotor down wash.

• Keep animals secured and children out of the way of emergency workers.

• Do not smoke within 200 feet of any helicopter

• Dress appropriately to assist, avoid bare-feet and flip-flops.

If you are not assisting, please don't be a gawker.

Stay well away from the scene;

extra boats and people could impede emergency workers.

Prepare for Helicopter Landing fact sheet

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