12 Apr 2023

2023 FAI Ballooning Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

The 2023 inductees into the FAI CIA International Balloon & Airship Hall of Fame have been announced as Dewey Reinhard of the United States of America and Phillip Dunnington of the United Kingdom. The Balloon Museum and FAI Ballooning Commission extend their congratulations to the honorees and their families on being brought into this exclusive cadre of distinguished aeronauts.

The announcement, made by the by the Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum follows the March 2023 FAI Ballooning Commission plenary meeting in Hasle Rüegsau, Switzerland.

Charles “Dewey” Reinhard (b. 1930)

2023 FAI CIA Hall of Fame Inductee

Dewey Reinhard was born in Pueblo, Colorado, USA and had his first balloon lesson in 1974 in a balloon he had purchased two years earlier. After co-founding the Ballooning Society of Pikes Peak in 1976, Reinhard made the sixteenth courageous attempt to fly a balloon across the Atlantic Ocean in 1977.

Dewey Reinhard
Dewey Reinhard's lift-off for his 1977 Atlantic crossing. Image provided by Dewey Reinhard

In 1978, he organised and managed the first Colorado Springs Balloon Classic. This experience was the beginning of a lifetime's worth of service to sport ballooning with both the FAI CIA and the Balloon Federation of America (BFA). Reinhard served on various rules committees as a gas balloon advisor and conducted management seminars for balloon event organisers.

During his career, Reinhard has logged more than 1,500 hours in balloons, most of which were flown during some 300 events over nearly forty years. As a competitor, Reinhard was US National Gas Balloon Champion in 1980 and flew in seven Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett races and five World Gas Balloon Championships.

Dewey Reinhard at a balloon fiesta. Image provided by Dewey Reinhard

Over the years, Reinhard has received recognition for his significant contributions to ballooning: the prestigious Montgolfier Diploma for service to ballooning (1989), a BFA Distinguished Aeronaut award (1984), the BFA President’s Award (1986), and the Shields-Trauger Memorial Award (1996). Reinhard is also an inductee of the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame (1983), the Colorado Springs High School Alumni Hall of Fame (1985), the US Ballooning Hall of Fame (2011), and the Colorado Springs Sports Corps Hall of Fame (2016).

Phil Dunnington (1947- 2021)

2023 FAI CIA Hall of Fame Posthumous Inductee

Phil Dunnington’s first ballooning experience was a hot air balloon flight with Don Cameron in 1971. One of the pioneers of ballooning in the United Kingdom, Phil co-founded the Dante Balloon Group in 1971 and the Bristol Balloon Fiesta in 1979.

Phil was a ballooning instructor, examiner, and inspector. He served as Chairman of the British Balloon and Airship Club (BBAC) Technical Committee from 1982 to 2005, the Western Region from 1986, and the Examiners Panel from 1989. He worked closely for many years with the European Aviation Safety Agency to establish new licensing requirements which led to the foundation of the European Ballooning Federation.

Phil was sales director for Cameron Balloons, UK from 1985 to 2002. He established commercial ballooning operations in Chile, Myanmar, and India.

Allie and Phil Dunnington
Allie and Phil Dunnington. Image provided by Allie Dunnington

Dunnington won the British Long Jump in 1991, flying 221 miles. He was in the first team to fly a hot air balloon over the Northwest Passage in an open basket in 1999, together with David Hempleman-Adams, breaking two world records. The BBAC awarded him the Adams Sparks Trophy in 2011 and the Debbie Warley Trophy in 2015. The culmination of his life-long passion for aviation was his appointment as the General Aviation Advocate for the British Department of Transport in 2019.

One of the most experienced commercial balloon pilots in the world, Dunnington holds a record for having flown in 127 countries and logged more than 2,600 hours over 3,923 flights. This included flying a total of 745 different balloons and airships built by virtually every manufacturer in the world. He was the first to fly a hot air balloon in Kenya (1972), Malawi (1973), Jamaica (1975), and Iceland (1983).

Despite having been diagnosed with leukemia in 2014 he would never miss a good pint in a pub nor the chance to fly in a new country. In 2017, Phil and his wife Allie became the first to transport a balloon in a vintage Beech 18 and fly their balloon in Greenland and Cuba. Phil passed away in Jordan in 2021.

Phil Dunnington balloonist
Phil Dunnington. Image provided by Allie Dunnington

2023 FAI CIA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

The 2023 induction ceremony will be held at the Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum on Friday, October 6, 2023.

The Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum is proud to host the FAI CIA Hall of Fame induction ceremony and to be the home of the FAI CIA Balloon and Airship Hall of Fame exhibition. It is operated by the Department of Arts & Culture, City of Albuquerque.

Information provided by Lynne Newton, Exhibitions Curator, Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum