Claude Gillard, an inductee to the International Skydiving Hall of Fame in 2012, passed away in his native Australia on August 3 at age 92. Gillard began jumping in 1959 and was an Australian parachuting champion by 1962. He performed the first 2-way skydive in Australia and made several baton passes. In September 1961, Gillard leaped from 23,600 feet—a two-minute, eight-second free fall—an Australian record that helped publicize the sport in his nation. He was a judge, coach, rigger, instructor and competitor and served as president of the Australian Parachute Federation from 1966-2001. He became president of the International Parachuting Commission of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale in 1994, a position he held until 2001. In 2003, the FAI awarded him the title Companion of Honor.
Gillard’s funeral took place on August 10. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was live-streamed, and the recording is still available here: tinyurl.com/cgillard.