Drones Need To Yield To ThedaStar

Operators Must Call if Flying Within 5 Miles of Helipad

As more people purchase and operate their own drones, it is vital they follow important rules to keep ThedaStar Air Medical crew members and patients safe.

According to FAA rules:

  • Operators planning to fly a drone within 5 miles of any ThedaCare hospital helipad need to contact ThedaStar. When you call, we will ask for personal contact information so we can contact you if ThedaStar is arriving or leaving and need you to land your drone. Please call us before drone operations start and again when they are complete. Contact ThedaStar Communications at 920.729.2114.
  • Drones need to be operated at an altitude of less than 400 feet above ground.
  • Rules limit drone operation only to daylight hours and must remain in line of sight and must yield right-of-way to manned aircraft, including ThedaStar.

ThedaStar frequently lands near crash scenes so please avoid drone use near such sites since it could delay vital patient care and put the operator at potential legal risk. If you are near an accident scene, check with law enforcement to see if ThedaStar (or any air medical provider) has been called because a collision could be devastating.

Since drone operators may not know the location of hospital helipads, we recommend downloading the FAA’s B4UFLY app to learn where the different sites are located.

If you have any questions regarding drone use and ThedaStar, please contact me at jeff.grimm@thedacare.org.

Jeff Grimm is a flight nurse and safety program coordinator for ThedaStar Air Medical.