More info

You need a Flight Radio Telephone Operators licence to operate an aircraft radio. The "FRTO" exam is the same for GA, gliders and microlights. Exams are held very frequently at Queenstown, Wanaka and Dunedin. You can book an exam at ASL

See to purchase study material.

Also RAANZ has some excellent study material for the exam.

Club Radios

We have MicroAir 760 radios have been installed in the Twin Astir glider. Here's the two pages of the manual that deal with using the radio:
First page
Other page

Yes I know they are confusing to operate so try to find time to become familiar with them!
If flying the Twin from the back seat you will note that there are TWO buttons in the stick. The large button is of course the normal push-to-talk. The small little button out in front is a "remote" of the flip button on the radio. The operation of this button depends on what mode the radio is in. Usually this will be set to either "2-line" mode in which the button will "flip" between one of two frequencies (say 119.1 and 133.55). The upper frequency is the operating one. Make sure the frequencies are set before take-off. Also check what mode the radio is in.
Another mode that could be used is "memory". The button then simply steps through whatever channels are pre-programmed in the radio.
It is important not to be in "Program" mode. If you see "Prog" on the display then hit mode once more.

If you get confused trying to operate the radio then just hit the "priority" button. This takes you straight to chan 25 which we've re-programmed as 119.1. The radio is also put into memory mode so other channels can be selected with the rotary switch (or the second button on JW's rear stick).

Talk close to the mics , this is especially true for JW because 2 mics are used. Suggest 1-3cm!!!

A reminder to keep conversations brief when using 119.1 MHz. Almost all aircraft within Otago and Southland will be listening! Use 133.55 for glider chat. If Omarama is busy on that channel (i.e. Champs) then use 134.45.

Another tip is to formulate what you are going to say before you open you mouth! Know your location and read your altimeter before you press the transmit button!

Before changing from 119.1 to another channel please make a call so that Alex base knows you are no-longer listening.


These should only need charging every other week under normal weekend use. Only use the charger in the clubrooms, any other charger will stuff them. Remember to unplug the glider battery if you leave it in the glider.
See HERE for general info about glider batteries and charging.

Other radios

Again remember to turn off the Tait backpack at the end of the day (especially when charging).
Switch off the little Delcom in the winch car, become familiar with the "KHz" switch on the Delcom. You need to switch it to "50" when using 133.55 and "0" for 119.1

At present the Glider radio channels are programmed thus:

Channel Freq (MHz) Use
1 119.100 General unattended airfield use (Alex/Bendigo traffic)
2 133.550 The allocated Gliding frequency
3 128.000 Queenstown
4 129.300 Christchurch Control
5 134.450 2nd glider chat
6 118.600 Mt Cook/Tekapo
7 134.000 Gen Aviation sport
8 134.850 Glider "retrieve" channel
25 119.100 General unattended airfield use (Alex/Bendigo traffic)

Keep "1300" selected on your transponder unless instructed by ATC to do otherwise. Use your transponder if flying in wave. Queenstown have a repeater from Chch and should be able to see you above FL150 in "our" area. They will be more able to assist with clearance if you have your transponder working early.

PDF on Becker transponder

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