The Netherlands has a few Eurocopter EC135s for air medical services. (See Wikipedia.) How much clear landing space is required (either theoretically, practically or regulatory) for these?

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    $\begingroup$ According to my experience on Flight Simulator X, roughly an area the size of a medium sized town - but I suspect I'm not the most talented helicopter pilot. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Story
    Apr 12, 2016 at 11:53

2 Answers 2


Theoretically the diameter of the rotor plus some room for the tail is sufficient. If it fits, it fits.

Practically, a bit of room for manoeuvring is required. Also special attention to the generated turbulence is needed in cramped spaces.

Regulatory I don't know the exact size required for the EC135 operated as air ambulance in the Netherlands. But I do know that the Dutch police helicopters are allowed to land on an area with a diameter of 1.5 $\times$ LOA (length over all) during daytime operations. They hit a lamp mast once which resulted in this investigation (in Dutch - or English text-only translation) by the Onderzoeksraad (Dutch Safety Board). Page 5 and 6 show some of the regulations in force at the time (2008).


I don't think there's a hard and fast rule for this, but it depends on a number of factors:

  • Wind/ Weather conditions requiring safety margins.
  • Effect of nearby objects/structures. If they are big I think they might cause unpredictable wind effects, again requiring compensation and space.

(source: flugzeug-bild.de)

That said, I'm no helicopter pilot, so somebody else might be able to give a more detailed answer. YouTube is a pretty decent place to find some tight landings though.


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