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There are a number of things you can do to make things easier for yourself on XC excursions. Prior to flight, set up a reliable telephone contact for messages. Designate a specific route and goal and if you decide to deviate in flight be certain your crew understands first. It makes retrieval faster and is a big factor in reducing stress for your crew (and loved ones).

Establish a designated regional radio communication frequency.

Establish  communications protocols

Take action on a regional / club basis to prevent accidents by pre-identifying hazards.

Make it Standard Operating Procedure to initiate cautionery advice to other pilots at risk of entering areas of known adverse turbulance, known rotor or other hazardous physical environmental flying conditions. 

Carry good maps, a small mirror for signaling, rope, a basic first aid, a swiss army knife with saw, fluid and emergency food supplies. Your glider makes for great shelter, and is highly visible to search parties looking for you - don't break down! A parachute can be rolled up into an effective sleeping bag.

One of big time tips is to learn proper radio lingo (terminology). With distant communications, short simple words don't transmit well so words such as "yes" and "no" have been substituted by "Affirmative" and "Negative". For critical communications it's essential to know the phonetic alphabet (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and so forth) to spell out important words, ONE LETTER AT A TIME.

The next is to remember that the best intentions of men, women and mice will inevitably result in a dead battery! Arrange to make radio contact on the 1/4 or 1/2 hour for 5 minutes intervals so you can shut down and save battery. (You may have to wire in an external on/off switch.) While ground crew can monitor you constantly, teach them to stop at high ground points to eliminate  vehicle noise and obstacles between you. Identify common road names and land marks on their map so you both refer to the same place.

But when your radio dies - and sooner or later it's a gonna happen - there is one technique that can save your hide. As your radio battery dies it can receive quite well for quite some time. BUT the transmit burst noise generated by pressing and releasing the microphone button is broadcast long after its ability to transmit spoken words has faded out. By preparing your crew for this eventuality, or for occasions where you are too busy to carry on extended conversations, train them to ask leading questions or deliver information to which you can respond with single "click" for No or "Double click" for Yes. Questions such as "Are you still flying?",    "Have you flown past ____?"    "Ground wind is ______" can go a long way towards reducing stress on both sides.

On a final note:
Voice activated microphones are a personal "soar" point. Heavy breathing or wind noises cause needless transmissions - eliminating others pilots use of the channel and drains the batteries bigtime. Cover the mike with a thick foam or replace it with a switch activated system.

So have fun, fly high and far. There'll always be another day tomorrow. "If it don't feel good, don't do it."

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