Thoughts on first(ish) instrument


Lots of somewhat dated info out there, so hoping for a re-hashing of early instrument choices.

I’m considering the Flymaster GPS SD for a first (non iPhone + BlueFly Vario) instrument. Features look reasonable without being spendy or complicated. Figured its worth seeking opinions, in case consensus says it’s worth the learning curve to go right to something fancy (Naviter Hyper?)

Since I know the answer is, “it depends,” here’s some context:

  • I already have a Garmin Explorer Mini, so I’m set on SOS & launch / land auto messaging
  • Most important features: good to very good vario, thermal-assist
  • Experience: Boulder based; I’ve had my P2 for about two years, will go to UT and wrap up P3 this spring or summer
  • I’m starting to work on short XC flights, so no record setting here. At this point I have only moderate interest in really long XC flying
  • Not interested in comps - just not my style in any of my sports
  • Budget: I’d rather spend more now, rather than going cheaper now and updating in six months. It’s less about budget and more about having too much information to process
  • I travel and drag my wing around, so I’m often at new-to-me sites

All input is welcome - even if it’s, “instruments are just for show; keep the BlueFly awhile.”


Hi, if you have an Iphone you can download flyskyhy and it will turn your phone into a vario. You just might want an extra battery for this feature.

If your on andriod or samsung, look at