SW Virginia Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

News and Updates

Eagle Rock Fly-In - Jun 13-15, 2014

2014 Eagle Rock Fly In and Mountain Bike Challenge If you've never been to Eagle Rock, the Fly In is a good time to get acquainted! SE and NW launches (sometimes both are working at the same time), camping, mountain biking, and a Saturday night Barbeque (you bring your main meat, the club will provide the sides). This is a very popular event every year, with a lot of pilots and flights. Don't miss it!

Details: Eagle Rock 2014 Fly In Information (pdf file) - any changes in plans or details will be posted here, so be sure to check back for possible updates.

2014 Club Meeting

The annual meeting was held at Richard & Jean Cobb's home on Saturday March 29. Excellent food and good discussions, including past flights and planned maintenance and upcoming Eagle Rock FlyIn

Larry Dennis, Club President and newly elected Region 9 Director, gave a report on the latest BOD meeting and updates from the USHPA.

Larry Dennis became the fourth person ever to receive the Skywacker Boo Waa Award for exceptional dedication to free flight and the Skywacker Club

Annual Meeting - March 29, 2014

This year the meeting will be at the home of Richard & Jean Cobb in Blacksburg - hopefully after a good day of flying! Watch this spot and/or the Yahoo group for more details.

Erma Bogle - April 18, 2013

Erma Bogle, the wife of Jim Bogle, passed away April 18. Jim and Erma are the Big Walker landowners. Erma's sunny and welcoming presence will be missed.

Eagle Rock Fly-In - Jun 14-16, 2013

2013 Eagle Rock Fly In and Mountain Bike Challenge If you've never been to Eagle Rock, the Fly In is a good time to get acquainted! SE and NW launches (sometimes both are working at the same time), camping, mountain biking, and a Saturday night Barbeque (you bring your main meat, the club will provide the sides). This is a very popular event every year, with a lot of pilots and flights. Don't miss it!

Details: Eagle Rock 2013 Fly In Information (pdf file)

2013 Club Meeting

The annual meeting was held at Phil Givens' home on Saturday March 23
Excellent food (thanks to Freida and Phil) and good discussions, including past flights and planned maintenance and upcoming Eagle Rock FlyIn

Eagle Rock Fly-In June 14-16, 2013

More details to follow. There is a new NW launch and a new, paraglider only NW LZ that can be used when the main LZ is in crops

Big Walker Status Change

Big Walker is no longer a Skywacker Flying Site - The landowner, Jim Bogle, has decided that his interests are best served by forming an independent club for Big Walker (early September 2012)

For access to Big Walker and information about any Fly-Ins see: Yahoo Soar Big Walker Group

Big Walker Full Moon Fly-In - Sept 28-30, 2012

Soar Big Walker Mountain

Big Walker Full Moon Fabulus Fall Fly-In - Southwest Virginia's Finest Cross Country site, 30 mile ridge (without gaps), paved roads and slope takeoff. 50 to 100 mile ridge runs possible, and many over the back flights as far as North Carolina have been made.

Ample Camping space in the beautiful LZ - More details to come.

Big Walker Site Info

Eagle Rock Fly-In - Jun 15-17, 2012

2012 Eagle Rock Fly In and Mountain Bike Challenge In addition to the flying, this year we will be able to do some mountain biking on both sides of the mountain on the dirt roads as well as a number of logging trails which have been cut in the past. So bring your mountain bikes and when the wind isn't optimal, ride some of the trails to see if you are up to the challenge of flying as well as riding the mountain.

Details: Fly In Information (pdf file)

Club Meeting - Jan 28, 2012

Phil Givens' House - 6 pm social, 7 pm business

Scrappy's Christmas Greeting - 2011

'Twas the night before Christmas and on Larry's launch
Was a gathering of gliders 'round a man with a paunch
Whose new sleigh was so small ' thank FAA law
On ultra-light vehicles since the Twin Tower fall

Discussions and brainstorms were bantered about
How can we launch Santa so gifts won' t fall out?
With winds light and variable his runway is short
And once he's committed, he dare not abort

Cheryl said send Scrappy, and Tommy and Joe
Down to Frank's LZ to make the wind blow
With all of that hot air, there's bound to be lift
If only that thermal would up the hill drift

Then Carl pulled presents from the bag on the sleigh
And promised to drop them in chimneys that way
John, Larry and George and Barry and Ronen
Passed handfuls of cargo to Ben, LE and Rowen

Rob grabbed a handful and then so did Mark
and even Jeff Corley stepped up in the dark
till finally Santa's sleigh was so greatly lightened
He pulled in the tie-downs and made sure they were tightened

Meanwhile our three windbags were down in Franks field
Talking and talking - and not one would yield
Their breath formed a bubble and then it got bigger
And drifted to trees that formed a good trigger

Uphill it wandered till trees went aquiver
And became a strong wind that ran up like a river
Then timing the cycles on top of the hill
And sending off pilots was our P1 Phil

Off Richard, off Noah, off James, Wayne and Randy
Drop gifts from the sky and drop all that candy
Off Allen, off Danny, off Ricky and Paul
Spread presents and good cheer to one and to all

With Larry's launch finally cleared of that gear
P1 readied Santa and pre-flighted reindeer
And then with a flourish they launched it just right
And Christmas was saved - and to all a good night!

-Steve "Scrappy" Beach

Eagle Rock FlyIn - June 10-12, 2011

For those of you who haven't been here before, we have two launches ( within walking distance of each other ) -- one facing NW and the other facing SE. At some of our prior Fly Ins we have had as many as 15 wings in the air ( and at times both hangs and paras in the air at the same time ) and one year for a very brief period of time we had people launching off both sides of the mountain as the wind was slowly changing.

Eagle Rock 2011 Fly In Information (link is pdf file)

Annual Meeting - Saturday, January 22, 2011

The meeting this year was held at Allen and Sally Walker's place in Salem. Excellent food and good company and discussions. Among other business, we have a new Vice President (Richard Gillespie), and annual dues were increased to $25.


Big Walker Wood Session - Saturday, November 13, 2010

An excellent turnout on a beautiful day to get Jim's wood in for the Winter

Team Grunt

There was of course the great feast afterwards, thanks to Erma!

Thanks to all who came:

Eagle Rock FALL Fly-In - Saturday, October 2, 2010

It was mostly sled rides, but the weather and colors were beautiful and the comaraderie great!

Eagle Rock Fly-In - June 11-13, 2010

Despite some rainy weather, a number of good flights were made on all 4 days (Thursday thru Sunday)!

Club Meeting - February 20, 2010

The Skywackers Annual Club Meeting was held this year on Saturday evening, February 20, 2010 at Richard & Jean Cobb's in Blacksburg.

Dinner and the social part of the meeting began at 6:30 PM with the business meeting following. Twenty pilots, family members and friends attended. Richard Gillespie had the flight of the day at Big Walker, hiking through knee deep snow and bobcat tracks to get a soaring flight in smooth air.

The Eagle Rock Fly-in is planned again this year, but later than previous years in order to avoid conflicts with uncut hay in the LZ's. Right now the plan is for the middle of June.

Paul Pearce is also working on plans for a tree self-rescue seminar this year.

Dues remain at $20 for the coming year. If you haven't already paid, please support your club and send in your dues and updated membership information. See the Forms and Member Info link to the left for the forms and mailing address

At the close of the meeting Randy Newberry presented the Boo Waa Award to Richard Cobb.

There were only two changes in officers for the coming year: Ricky Arnold replaces Randy Newberry on the Executive Committee, and Paul Pearce replaces Tim Kingsbury as the PG Safety Officer.

Here's to a Boo Waa Flying Year!

The Meeting

USHPA Exceptional Service Award - Nov 14, 2009

Our very own President Larry Dennis was awarded the USHPA Exceptional Service Award for 2009 at the Fall Board Meeting in Austin, TX, after receiving multiple nominations for exemplary contributions and service to our club and sport.

Big Walker Wood Stacking - Nov 7, 2009

It was a beautiful and sunny warm Fall day - the only thing that could have been improved was the wind direction. We got Jim's wood stacked, and Erma put on her normal Feast for everyone

The Crew

Thanks to all who came:

They are tearing down the old house next to the road, all that is left is the chimney and staircase:

Stairs to nowhere

Tobacco Row NW CLOSED 9/4/2009

Because of the loss of the T-row landing fields on the Northwest side the Northwest site is now permanently closed. The landowner has stated that anyone landing on the NW side of the mountain will be arrested and their equipment confiscated.

The southeast side Paraglider (lower launch) is still open. There is a separate waiver that must be signed before flying there. Please if you are coming to fly the SE side, obey the simple rules we have and don't close this site as well. (NOTE: the upper SE launch has been closed for several years already, because of housing development in the only remaining possible LZ's)

Big Walker Launch Clearing - June 2009

John McIntosh & Richard Cobb spent a day clearing the launch slot and road.
Some Overlaid before/after pics here: Before After Overlays

On the way to the work session, about 100 Black Vultures were seen feeding on a deer alongside the road.

Memorial Day Fly In 2009

It was a great success - from our esteemed Fly In organizer, Mr P1111111 Phil Givens:
"This year we had the most pilots to sigh up for the fly-in (25). The most pilots in the air at one time (14). and the most money collected"

Photos in the Gallery:
Fly In Pics 1
Fly In Pics 2

Club Meeting Saturday Night Feb 7, 2009

We had a good meeting, with 20 people. The meeting followed a good work session clearing Big Walker launch slot.

Big Walker Wood Stacking - Oct 18, 2008

This year, again, we did not have to split the wood, only haul and stack it. We had two trucks being loaded in the field and unloaded in the shed.

Loading wood

Thanks to all who came:

More Loading

We also had an extra 'lady' in the wood pile, you can see the Hourglass on this Black Widow very clearly:

Black Widow

Meanwhile Erma had help in the kitchen this year, with Jean and Haithou assisting:

The Kitchen Ladies

After we finished loading we chowed down on Erma's great SW Chili, potato soup, corn and beer bread, and great deserts. Debbie's nephews put in a good day of work just like everyone else

Debbie and Nephews

We had been watching the Northerly winds developing in the LZ, so after we finishing stuffing ourselves we headed for the top. It was a cloudy day, and we arrived on launch to find the wind blowing in smoothly and steadily, if a bit chilly. Everyone that brought a glider flew. Here are Alan Walker and Tim Kingsbury launching:

Alan and Tim Launching

And here's Phil Givens and Richard Cobb doing it:

It was easily soarable and the fall colors brilliant and beautiful!

Eagle Rock Memorial Day Fly-In - May 24-26, 2008

Eagle Rock Fly In

The Second Annual Eagle Rock Fly In was another success! There were 22 pilots (21 PG and 1 HG). Silvio Zugarim from Florence, Ky had the highest flight of 5078 ft AGL and won the USHPA hat.

Some links to various photos and videos of the event (thanks to Mark Lemon for compiling them):
Taylor's video
Mark's(actually Anita's) compilation video
Anita's video of Taylor's elevator ride
Anita's video of the Paraglider's Serenade
Skywacker Gallery
Silvio's video
Silvio's pictures
Orlando's pictures

Eagle Rock Updates

NW Side

Mr. Deisher's hay is now up (early May) and has not yet been cut. Please do NOT land in any of his fields for the present time. I did talk to him about the Fly In and the hay should be cut in some, if not all, of the fields by that time.

SE Side

Standard Operating Procedure for flying the SE side:
Call Gary & Jean Wiley - (540)884-2139 before flying

Club Meeting - January 19, 2008

The Skywackers Annual Club Meeting was held this year on Saturday evening, January 19, 2008 at Richard & Jean Cobb's in Blacksburg.

The social part of the meeting began shortly after 6, with a number of people arriving after flying in the snow at Big Walker:

Big Walker Cold Launch

A Mexican dinner (cooked by Jean Cobb) was served, followed by the meeting:

January Meeting

Meeting Notes

15 members and Jim Bogle (the Big Walker landowner) attended the meeting. Meeting business included site discussions and plans, including preliminary plans for another Memorial Day Eagle Rock FlyIn. Phil Givens was unanimously voted to be the Fly-In Chairman. The club also voted to grant lifetime memberships to present and future recipients of the Boo Waa Award

Eagle Rock is now a USHPA insured site. As such, it was discussed that everyone needs to ensure that all who fly there are USHPA members with a suitable rating. The same applies also to Big Walker. Also discussed was the need to post flying plans on the Yahoo Group list, whenever time permits, so out-of-area pilots have the opportunity to meet and fly.

Elections were held and most officers maintained their current positions. The main changes were that Larry Dennis is our new President after Shane Moreland moved out of the area. Tim Kingsbury took over the PG Safety Officer position that had been held by Larry.

The Officers for 2008 are:

2008 Membership Renewals are Due

Dues remain at $20. Also please fill out the membership information form, club waiver, and waiver for Eagle Rock. These are all available on the forms page: Forms and Member Info page, along with the mailing address.

Big Walker Wood Stacking - Nov 10, 2007

This year we did not have to split the wood, only haul and stack it. We had two trucks going all morning, with the "loaders" in the field and the "stackers" in the shed.

Jim's Wood stacking party

Thanks to all who came:

Jim's Wood stacking crew

We finished by lunch time, and then went inside where it was warm to enjoy Erma's Feast - pan baked corn bread, fresh beer bread, potato soup and Southwest chili, followed by multiple desserts.

Enjoying Erma's Feast

After everyone was stuffed we went up to the mountain top. The wind was a nice NW, but too strong for all but the lone dinosaur HG pilot of the group. But Richard had a nice, if chilly flight, trying to stay away from the cloud suck.

Dinosaur launching

Comments or Questions?