Richard Bennett 48th Member Inducted into Skydiving Hall of Fame

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A Canadian man was one of five people inducted into the International Skydiving Museum’s Hall of Fame in September 2017.

Richard “Buzz” Bennett, who is from Gibsons, Canada, which is close to Vancouver, attended a ceremony to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The ceremony took place in Chicagoland Skydiving Center located in Rochelle, Illinois. A fundraiser took place the same week. The celebrations occurred from September 21 to 23, 2017.

For his contributions to the sport of skydiving, Bennett received a plaque and a blazer. These were presented by one of his fellow parachutists, Dick Williams.

Bennett is a well-known Canadian skydiver with over 6,300 skydives to his credit. He started skydiving over 50 years ago in 1966—which is when he took his first jump. Bennett has earned numerous accolades in his skydiving career. From 1975 until 1991, he served as a chairperson of the Competition and National Teams Committee of the Canadian Sport Parachute Association (CSPA). He helped create a way for judges to rate skydivers’ performances. His Judge Rating Program is still used to this day and he helped write a Canadian Judge Training Manual.

In the 1980s, Bennett was the chief judge of four World Parachuting Championships. He also went on to train judges for the 1991 World Championships.

He represented Canada on the International Parachuting Commission (IPC) for a total of 40 years before retiring from the position in 2015. He was the treasurer for the IPC for a total of 14 years. While representing Canada for the IPC, he helped with rules and regulations, participated in the grading of style and accuracy, and was a part of the Canopy Piloting Committees. He also took part in the sporting code working group.

Currently, Bennett still participates as a skydiving judge.

The Fédération Aéronautique International (FAI) awarded Bennett with the Paul Tissandier Diploma in 1983. The award is given to those who make a vital contribution to aviation in general. In 1999, Bennett was awarded the IPC Leonardo da Vinci Diploma for special achievements in skydiving.

In addition, Bennett was given the highest non-competitive award possible by CSPA in 2005: the Glenn Masterson Memorial Trophy for his service and contributions to Canadian skydiving.

Bennett possesses a commercial pilot’s license and has flown for a total of 1,200 hours. Much of this recorded flying time is for flying skydivers into the air for skydives.

An estimated 300 guests attended the event, coming from all parts of the globe. Bennett is the 48th person to be inducted into the Skydiving Hall of Fame.

The International Skydiving Museum’s Hall of Fame is located in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The other four members inducted into the Hall of Fame this year were three Americans and one Australian. The Hall of Fame is fairly new and was established in 2010.

According to the organization’s website, the Hall of Fame, “recognizes and honors those who, through leadership, innovation and/or outstanding achievements, have defined, promoted, inspired and advanced skydiving at the highest and sustained levels in the past, present and for future generations of skydivers.”

The website also states, “The purpose of the International Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame is to recognize and promote the sport of skydiving through public education and awareness; recognize the contribution to skydiving by its participants, suppliers and supporters; capture forever the history of the sport via its events, equipment, and personalities; and enhance aviation safety as it pertains to skydiving.”

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