Some great words of wisdom about launching and landing by Alameda kiter Sylvia taken from an iKite thread. Read it!
The kiter-pilot is 100% in charge for landing and launching his/her kite correctly. The kiter is in charge of picking and briefing the assistant so no misunderstandings can happen. The kiter is in charge for being ready when asking for launch assitance.
The kiter is in charge to know about the landing and launching conditions/zones and guidelines of where and how in a specific locale.
The kiter is 100% in charge for standing in the right direction into the wind when launching and so on.
It is never the assistant being in charge for anything. A smart assitant may abort the launch by putting the kite back down on the ground safely and refuse to launch a kiter who is not properly rigged or with inappropriate equipment. Or when the assistant feels inapporpirate for the task. You can however not expect that judgement from everybody.
So - the kiter-pilot needs to pick consciously the right people for assistance and give clear directions:
Always brief your launching assistant, give them clear directions. Even if you know them tell them (annoy them with repetition) clearly about the handsignals you will give and what you expect them to do in response to the signals. For example both agree that letting go only happens with the thumbs up signal. Or patting your head means to ground the kite safely.
Verbal communication does not work in wind over a 30 m distance (unless it is LMG talking to you.....). Verbal comunication does especially not work with someone having a helmet over his ears. This is why there are handsignals.
If you don't see anybody trustworthy to catch your kite then do a safe self landing as you have been taught (hopefully) in a good lesson. A self landing is the very last resort however. It is important to do this only with enough safety distance to bystanders (2 kiteline lenghts at least).
Always be ready to pull your safety immediately in case something goes wrong. And know your safety system and check it regularly. Invest $ in good equipment, it pays back often enough.
Being the assistant:
Even if you are experienced and know the kiter: Clearly agree with the kiter before launching about the handsignals.
It's so easy to get a happy kiting session! - Sylvia