The International Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame will hold its 2017 Celebration Event at Chicagoland Skydiving Center in Rochelle, Illinois, the weekend of September 21-23. Now in its eighth year, the Hall of Fame recognizes and honors those who “through leadership, innovation and/or outstanding achievement have defined, promoted, inspired and advanced the sport at the highest levels.” The hall and museum strive to preserve the sport’s rich history, as well as inspire current and future skydivers to document their aerial achievements.
Each year since its inception, the Hall of Fame pays tribute to a select few men and women who have distinguished themselves over a lifetime of participation in the sport. Past honorees have contributed to safety and training, excelled at the highest levels of competition and made their marks in equipment design and rigging. This year’s class includes skydivers who excelled in national and international competition and judging, international diplomacy through skydiving, and teaching and writing about the sport.
In alphabetical order, the 2017 honorees are:
Richard “Buzz” Bennett
Richard “Buzz” Bennett, Canadian Sport Parachute Association D-71, is one of Canada’s foremost sport parachuting personalities and has made 6,300 jumps since his first in 1966. He chaired the Competition and National Teams Committee of the Canadian Sport Parachute Association from 1975 through 1991. During that time, he created its judge rating program and authored the Canadian Judge Training Manual, which is still in use today. He was chief judge at four world parachuting championships in the 1980s, as well as the chief of judge training at the world championships in 1991. He is still an active judge.
Bennett served as Canada’s delegate to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale’s International Parachuting Commission for 40 years, retiring in 2015. During his tenure, he sat on the Style & Accuracy and Canopy Piloting Committees and chaired the Sporting Code Working Group and the Rules & Regulations Committee. He was the IPC Treasurer for 14 years as a member of the IPC Bureau.
FAI awarded him the 1983 Paul Tissandier Diploma (for serving the cause of general aviation) and the 1999 IPC Leonardo da Vinci Diploma (for specific achievements in sport parachuting). CSPA honored him with its highest non-competitive award, the 2005 Glenn Masterson Memorial Trophy, for services to CSPA and Canadian parachuting. Bennett is also a commercial pilot with more than 1,200 hours of flight time, many spent flying jumpers.
Roy C. Johnson
Johnson was a true professional who gladly gave of himself as a mentor and coach so the next generation of competitors might also succeed. He coached the U.S. Women’s Parachute Team to a gold medal and the U.S. Men’s Parachute Team to a silver at the 1976 world championships in Italy. He was the first skydiver to whom USPA awarded its 24-Hour Freefall Badge. He ended his illustrious career with 4,522 skydives.Roy C. Johnson, D-589, made his first jump in 1961 at the Cleveland Parachute Center in Parkman, Ohio, and was one of America’s most accomplished competitors in the classic events of style and accuracy during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Known for his dedicated training regimen and being years ahead of his time, especially as a stylist, he was a four-time overall style and accuracy national champion and the first person to average under seven seconds in the style event at the USPA National Championships. Johnson was the favorite to become men's overall world champion at the 1972 World Parachuting Championships in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, before a major injury forced him to withdraw.
Johnson was an accomplished jump pilot for several drop zones and later became an airline pilot for Continental Airlines. He was notified of the honor of induction into the International Skydiving Hall of Fame Class of 2017 before he passed away in April.
Major General John “Jack” Singlaub
Fortunately for the skydiving community, he became involved in promoting skydiving within the military community, ultimately leading the effort to allow military personnel to skydive on military installations and off post with the civilian community. He went on to assume leadership positions on the board of the Parachute Club of America (a forerunner of USPA) as a national director and chairman of the board, leaving the board in 1975 after 10 years. During his tenure, he was key in gaining aircraft support for U.S. Parachute Teams and for the 1972 World Parachuting Championships in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He also served as head of delegation for the 1965 U.S. Parachute Team that competed at the Adriatic Cup in Europe. He’s a lifetime member of USPA.Major General John “Jack” Singlaub, B-508, graduated from the University of California—Los Angeles with an Army Reserve commission in 1943 and went straight to jump school. While serving in a parachute regiment at Fort Benning, Georgia, he joined the Office of Strategic Services, which later became the Central Intelligence Agency. He was inserted by parachute into occupied France to organize, train and lead a French Resistance unit during World War II, which provided assistance to the Allied invasion forces. He served as a security and defense advisor to several U.S. presidents—from Roosevelt to Carter—and retired in 1977 as a two-star general.
Graeme K. Windsor
He was a member of the Australian Parachute Federation Board (which included a stint as chairman) and was alternate IPC delegate and later the delegate. He was also the chief executive officer at the APF, retiring in 2008. Windsor has served in almost every capacity during his illustrious career, including terms as head of delegation, controller and jury member at several world championships. He is the longest-serving president of the FAI’s International Parachuting Commission, with nine years in that capacity. Windsor served as president of the FAI Air Sports General Commission from 2011 to 2016, and the FAI made him an FAI President of Honor and FAI Companion of Honor.Graeme K. Windsor, Australian Parachute Federation F-59, has devoted his life to skydiving since his first jump in October 1968 in Papua, New Guinea. He has won many medals in style, accuracy, para-ski and formation skydiving at the Australian National Championships and has competed extensively in FAI World Championships, winning the 1982 team accuracy bronze medal in Lučenec, Yugoslavia. He has been a national coach, operations and safety manager, chief instructor, instructor examiner and parachute rigger.
Windsor has made more than 7,000 jumps, still jumps regularly and competed at the 2016 FAI World Parachuting Championships at Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Illinois. He is treasurer of the Air Sport Australia Confederation and a member of the organizing committee for the 2018 FAI World Parachuting Championships to be held in Queensland, Australia.
Pat Works, D-1813, was an avid promoter of sequential formation skydiving (once known as relative work or RW) since his first jump in 1961 at the Houston Parachute Club in Texas. For the next half century, Works’ passion was to share the joy of freefall through writing and teaching. His words instructed, entertained and inspired skydivers worldwide, and his first book, “The Art of Freefall Relative Work,” was translated into three languages. Works also wrote two more popular books: “United We Fall” and “The Art of vRW: The Way of Freefly.”
Works conducted many free training camps in Australia, England, France, Germany and the USA to teach freefall techniques. He was instrumental in introducing 10-way competition at the USPA Nationals in 1972, and he founded the grassroots RW Council for sharing ideas, debate and news through the RWunderground Newsletter that he and his wife, Jan, published from 1972-1976. He competed throughout his skydiving years and served on the USPA Board of Directors from 1981 to 1987. USPA honored Works with its 2013 Gold Medal for Meritorious Service for “over 50 years of contribution as a teacher, innovator, author and competitor.” His final gift to the sport before passing away in late 2016 with over 8,200 jumps is the Skydiving Encyclopedia wiki (a website that allows collaborative editing) for the International Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame.
In September, at the Hall of Fame Banquet and Induction Ceremony Presented by the Parachute Industry Association at Chicagoland Skydiving Center, museum officials will enshrine the new inductees into the Hall of Fame. Per tradition, they will don the blue blazers signifying the honor. As the Hall of Fame is truly an international endeavor, one of this year’s inductees is Canadian and another is Australian. The five incoming members of the eighth class of honorees bring this exclusive group to a total of 53 outstanding sport parachutists.
Chicagoland is an excellent venue for attendees who wish to catch up with old friends and make new acquaintances, as well as those who want to skydive. The 20,000-square-foot facility will accommodate the various celebration activities, and its two aircraft, a Twin Otter and a PAC 750, will whisk skydivers to altitude for jumps, including a pro-am 4-way scrambles competition. Besides honoring the new inductees, the Saturday evening banquet will also serve as the annual fundraiser for the still-to-be-built museum in North Orlando, Florida, that will be the central repository for the history of our sport. The Board of Trustees of the International Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame encourages skydivers and the sport’s fans to participate in the weekend festivities. Details are available at www.skydivingmuseum.org.