Flymaster Instruments – Declared Tasks and Competition Routes – Part A

Published: Richard Bungay 26/05/2020

Flymaster Instruments – Declared Tasks and Competition Routes – Part A

This article will help you define “Declared Tasks” and then show you how to enter these and also “Competition Routes” on the Flymaster SD-series instruments. The article is split into two halves, Part A will deal with defining a task and creating the waypoint file for your instrument. Part B will show you how to program the declared task into your Flymaster SD-series instrument, this will cover both XC style tasks and Competition tasks.

To enter a “declared task” or a “competition route” into your Flymaster instrument the first thing you need is a waypoint file containing the GPS coordinates for the task you wish to fly.

For a “competition task” this is generally straight forward as the competition organisers will have provided a waypoint file for you to download and save to your instrument or may even have done this for you at registration.

For an “XC declared task” you will need to create this waypoint file once you have decided on the task you wish to fly. There are multiple online tools and Software Applications that will allow you to do this, most work in a very similar way. For this tutorial we will use the online tool as an example.

Once you have loaded the FlyXC webpage it should zoom to your local area if you allowed it to access your location, if not zoom to the area you want to set the task in.

Down the right hand side of the page you will see a vertical line of buttons, the function of these are:-

Full screen       – makes the map the full size of your screen.

Airspace          – allows you to show controlled airspace up to the height you specify.

Skyways          – this overlays a database of previous tracklogs that enables you to see “classic routes” that have been flown before.

Create route    – clicking this will pop a route with a start and finish waypoint, note the direction arrows.

Tracker            – the next button is for configuring a tracking device, we don’t need to use this.

Settings           – a popup menu allows you to specify the “XC League” choice (sets multipliers etc) and set your units for distance and height.

The first thing to do is go to settings and select UK XC League, National (for UK flights) and set the distance and height units you wish to use (normally height in feet and distance in kilometres).

Now click the Create Route button. A horizontal line will appear with a start and finish waypoint at each end and some direction arrows so you know what order the waypoints are to be flown in. A summary of the flight will appear down the left hand side showing the distance, scoring distance with the applied multiplier and expected flight duration based on the average speed you set.

If you are declaring a flight to goal you now need to set the start and finish waypoints to your chosen take-off and goal locations. Click on the start waypoint (the one on the RHS with the arrows pointing away from it) and drag it to your desired start. Remember that declared flights use a 400m radius cylinder for all waypoints that you need to enter but FlyXC doesn’t show these unfortunately. Next, drag the finish point to your chosen goal, in the example below I have shown a flight from Clough Head to Grasmere in The Lake District.

If you wish to make this an Out-and-Return flight you would need to add a third waypoint which is exactly the same as the start point. There is a “Close flight” button near the bottom of the LHS column, click this and it will automatically set the finish back to the same waypoint as the start and show your flight as an OR and the score with the multiplier. Note, the FlyXC app only shows the multipliers for non-declared flights, the actual XC League multipliers for flights declared beforehand are higher.

If you wish to declare a FAI Triangle flight this too is fairly straight forward, the following method is the easiest way to set the correct points. As an example, if you wish to declare a triangle starting at Skiddaw then heading SE to Castlerigg Stone Circle and then NE up to Blencathra and finishing back at Skiddaw, this would be the easiest way of doing accomplishing this. Click the “Reset” button at the bottom of the LHS pane to clear anything you have created previously. Now drag the start waypoint to the location of the first waypoint you wish to use for your triangle, in this case Skiddaw. This is where it gets slightly complicated, rather than dragging the finish waypoint to the second point of your triangle, instead drag it to your third point, Blencathra in this example.

You may have already noticed a lighter grey dot in the middle of the line similar to the start and finish waypoints. If you click and drag this you will find it adds an additional waypoint in the middle of the leg, we move this to the second waypoint in our route, in this example, Castlerigg Stone Circle. Now click the “Close flight” button and the final leg of your triangle will be drawn from what is now the third waypoint in the route located at Blencathra back to the start at Skiddaw. You will also notice that three Yassen sectors are now drawn showing the areas for each waypoint that will still make the route a valid FAI triangle. Try dragging one of your waypoints around and see how the sectors for the other two waypoints change in position and size.

There are a couple of points to keep in mind when you create your routes. XC Leagues use 400m turnpoint cylinders around each of your waypoints, you only have to enter this cylinder rather than flying to the centre where the actual waypoint is located. This means that 400m is deducted from your route length for each enter and exit of a turnpoint cylinder, so for a triangle you will loose 3 x (2 x 400m) = 2.4km from the distance shown in FlyXC app. Remember that there are minimum requirements for route lengths so if you want to fly a 25km FAI triangle it will need to be at least 27.4km to meet this requirement after the deductions.

Now that you have worked out your route you need to download the waypoints in a format to load into your instrument, in this case a Flymaster SD-Series instrument. Click on the “Download button” on the bottom of the LHS pane and select “FormatGEO (GPSDump)” from the list of available formats.

Now click the download button and save the file to your computer.

The file will be saved as “waypoints.wpt” and usually your computer will not recognise the .wpt file extension and not know what to do with it. It is in fact a simple text file that can be opened with any editor such as the Windows Notepad. If you open the file in Notepad you will see it is a simple text file with the list of your route waypoints in order, complete with the waypoint name, Lat/Long and altitude in metres:-


FXC001    N 54 38 43.20    W 003 08 43.47   879

FXC002    N 54 36 15.80    W 003 05 59.34   206

FXC003    N 54 38 23.17    W 003 02 43.07   725

FXC004    N 54 38 43.20    W 003 08 43.47   879


You can edit the waypoint names in the file to make them easier to find/recognise on your instrument:-


Skiddaw    N 54 38 43.20    W 003 08 43.47   879

Castlerigg    N 54 36 15.80    W 003 05 59.34   206

Blencathra    N 54 38 23.17    W 003 02 43.07   725

Skiddaw    N 54 38 43.20    W 003 08 43.47   879


You can also edit this text file and use it to send a declaration for the flight to the XCLeague. You will need to delete everything apart from the co-ordinates and then add your BHPA number, as an example if your BHPA number is 12345:-.


N 54 38 43.20    W 003 08 43.47

N 54 36 15.80    W 003 05 59.34

N 54 38 23.17    W 003 02 43.07

N 54 38 43.20    W 003 08 43.47


Now that you have a file containing the waypoints for the task you want to declare, you need to load the waypoints to the instrument. This can be done using either the Flymaster Designer application or GPSDump.

If you are using Flymaster Designer, open the application and connect your instrument, the instrument name logo should appear in the top right of the window, LIVE-SD in this example.

Click on the instrument name logo (LIVE-SD) and a drop down menu will appear, select the “Waypoints” option from this list. A waypoints window will appear, click on the “Import file” button and browse to the location you saved the waypoints.wpt file you created (or an alternative file you wish to load if you already had one for a competition for example) and click “Open”, the list of waypoints will now appear in the window. Click the “select all” button (the waypoints will now be highlighted in blue) and then the “Send to Instrument button”, the waypoints are now sent to your Flymaster SD instrument.

If you renamed the waypoints as per the example, you will notice that the first and last waypoint are identical (which is exactly what you require for a triangle) so only three waypoints are created on your instrument.

The second half of this article, Part B, will guide you through entering this XC declared task, along with Competition tasks, on your Flymaster SD-series instrument.