ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – This year’s FAI Ballooning Commission Hall of Fame inductees were announced in Switzerland during the commission’s March meeting. The inductees are Charles ‘Dewey’ Reinhard, of the United States, and Phillip Graham Dunnington, of the United Kingdom. An induction ceremony will take place at the Albuquerque Balloon Museum on Friday, Oct. 6.
Reinhard was born in Pueblo, Colorado, in 1930. He co-founded the Ballooning Society of Pikes Peak in 1976 and made the sixteenth attempt to fly a balloon across the Atlantic Ocean alone in 1977. Reinhard also organized and managed the first Colorado Springs Balloon Classic in 1978.
Reinhard has logged over 1,500 hours in balloons, was a U.S. National Gas Balloon Champion in 1980, flew in seven Gordon Bennett races, and flew in five World Gas Balloon Championships. Reinhard has been awarded the Montgolfier Diploma for service to ballooning, a BFA Distinguished Aeronaut Award, a BFA President’s Award, and the Shields-Trauger Memorial Award.
The FAI Ballooning Commission Hall of Fame is not Reinhard’s first hall of fame; he has been inducted into the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, the Colorado Springs High School Alumni Hall of Fame, the U.S. Ballooning Hall of Fame, and the Colorado Springs Sports Corps Hall of Fame.
Dunnington took his first balloon flight in 1971. He co-founded both the Dante Balloon Group and the Bristol Balloon Fiesta. Dunnington served as chairman of the British Balloon and Airship Club Technical Committee, the Western Region, and the Examiners Panel, working as an instructor, examiner, and inspector.
The pilot helped establish new licensing requirements, which led to the European Ballooning Federation’s foundation and he worked to establish commercial ballooning operations in Chile, Myanmar, and India. He also worked as sales director for Cameron Balloons from 1985 to 2022.
Dunnington won various awards and records throughout his ballooning career: he won the British Long Jump flight of 221 miles in 1991, was in the first team to fly over the Northwest Passage in an open basket, was awarded the Adams Sparks Trophy and the Debbie Warley Trophy, and was appointed as the General Aviation Advocate for the British Department of Transport in 2019.
As one of the most experienced commercial balloon pilots in the world, Dunnington won a world record for flying in 127 countries. He logged over 2,600 hours in 3,923 balloon flights. Dunnington was the first to fly a hot air balloon in Kenya, Malawi, Jamaica, and Iceland. After a long and successful life as a pilot, Dunnington passed away in Jordan in 2021.