Inducted in 2005
The world’s first parachutist from an aircraft
US Army Captain Albert Berry made a tethered jump from a Benoist Headless airplane over Kinlock Field near the site of the present Lambert Field in St. Louis, Missouri in march of 1912.
On 1 March 1912, Berry jumped from a Benoist pusher biplane from 1,500 feet. The 36 foot diameter parachute was contained in a metal canister attached to the underside of the plane – when Berry dropped from the plane his weight pulled the parachute from the canister. Rather than being attached to the parachute by a harness Berry was seated on a trapeze bar.
Asked if he would ever repeat the performance, Berry replied: “Never again! I believe I turned five somersaults on my way down…My course downward… was like a crazy arrow. I was not prepared for the violent sensation that I felt when I broke away from the aeroplane.”