Skywackers — History

SW Virginia Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Skywacker History

Call of the Skywacker

Call of the Skywacker

Here's a delightful tale about how it all started. If you read nothing else here, you should read The Call of the Skywacker

Early Skywackers

Early Skywackers

The founding members of the Skywackers were flying as early as 1974. They flew hard and partied hard. Learn more about the birth of our club and the sport of hang gliding: Early Skywacker History

Blacksburg Area

Clover Hollow Training Hill

One of the first hang gliding Instructors in the 70's was Jim Zell, who introduced many to their first flights. He was followed by Chris Norloff, who worked out of Wayne Sayer's Blue Ridge Mountaineering Store in Blacksburg. Richard Cobb taught many students on the famous Clover Hollow Training Hill in the mid 1980's: Blacksburg and Clover Hollow


WW Richards

In the early 1980's the Roanoke Valley Hang Gliding Association was an extremely active group of fliers, with sites all over the Roanoke Area. "WW" (Wayne William) Richards was their leader, instructor, Go-To-Guy for glider repairs, and Regional Director.

Then, one year in the mid 1980's, it all came to an end. This very active group seemed to simply stop flying.



After the unexpected demise of the RVHGA, a few remaining pilots over the whole SW Virginia area formed the Southwest Virginia Hang Gliding Association in the late 1980's, with the name reflecting the wide range of area from which the pilots came, which included all the old Skywackers that were still flying.

In the 1990's Paragliders and Paragliding arrived, and in 1999 the club voted to adopt our Paragliding brothers, and the club name was changed to the current Southwest Virginia Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

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