In memory of Bill and Jeremy Benedict

Van's Aircraft Photo
By now, most wing members have heard the tragic news that Bill and Jeremy Benedict, of Van's Aircraft, were both killed in a crash of the RV-9 prototype on Sunday, April 2, 2000.

In addition to the many messages of condolence and sympathy sent to the memorial service for Bill and Jeremy, at least two formal memorial programs have been announced.

The Bill and Jeremy Benedict Memorial Scholarship Fund

I don't yet have information on who has set up this fund, though I suspect that it's members of EAA Chapter 105 (Portland), Bill and Jeremy's chapter.  You can make a contribution to the fund at:
Bill and Jeremy Benedict Memorial Scholarship Fund
University of Portland Development Office
5000 N. Willamette Blvd.
Portland, OR  97203

The EAA Memorial at Oshkosh

I don't yet have any news of this memorial, other than rumours of its existence.  If you can provide me with any details, please write me at

Messages from Western Canada Wing Members

If you would like to post your own message in memory of Bill and Jeremy, please send it to  Please include photographs, if you have them.

Homer Rogers

Please send my heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Bill and Jeremy Benedict through your thoughtful addition to the web page.  I will always remember Bill's easy going and patient nature when questioned repeatedly about the most trivial construction details us first time builders were so concerned about.  I really looked forward to meeting these 'experts from Van's' when they were invited to attend some of the Salmon Arm Flying Club events.  I  met and spoke with Bill during Airventure '99 in Oshkosh.  He remembered me somehow from before, and requested I send him flying pictures of my plane for the calendar. I had previously sent him an 8 x 10 just after it was finished.

Homer Rogers

Barry Tunzelmann

Bill was the fellow that met me at the Portland Airport in the RV6A. I had hitch hiked down on the Newnes Cheyenne and we went off in the 6A to "have some fun" in Bill's words. We went and fueled up a small amount and then proceeded to do some aeros. Bill was such a great flyer that the rolls, loops and 4 pointers we did were so well co-ordinated anybody would gladly ride with him doing these manouvers. He did say at one stage when were downside up that some guy really freaked out once when he commenced the same series of aeros during a demonstration ride. After all of the demo was over we had lunch at North Plains and Bill was kind enough to drop me back at the airport to meet the Cheyenne again. A real ambassador and a dedicated supporter of a fantastic product that we all believe in.

Barry Tunzelmann (Ireland)

Anthony Wiebe

I learned of the news last evening and was deeply saddened.

Last Thursday March 30th I was down in North Plains picking up my RV8A empennage. I was waiting to go on my demo flight and watching Bill prep the RV9 for this trip. He nor I knew it was to be his last. It is a great tragedy.

I never knew either man but somehow I feel the loss, of course, not near to the extent of those who knew the men. The flowers were a nice touch on behalf of the Western Canada Wing. I would also like to propose that we take a collection for a donation to the EAA Young Eagles Program in memory of Bill and Jeremy. Such a donation or gesture seems appropriate. Send your thoughts.

Best Regards,


Marc DeGirolamo

In the past several years while I have been building the RV-4 I had the opportunity to interact with Bill Benedict over the internet, fax and by phone. I many times asked what was I'm sure very elementary questions which he had probably heard hundreds of times before. He always answered my questions as though it was the first time he had been asked, always promptly, and courteously. I look forward to some day flying my RV and will have Bill to thank for the many answers he supplied......Although only having met him once he always made me feel like we were old friends.......Safe journey friend.


Jack and Jean Dueck

Images of Bill & Jeremy:

"Go ahead and sit in the 6 and the 4 and see how they fit!"

"Don't worry about that oversized hole, it'll be ok!"

"No. 93, Where are you from and what are you building?"

"Your wriing diagram is fine, I wouldn't change a thing!"

"Have you met my son Jeremy?"

We've lost a personal friend. We'll miss you and your personal help and interest in our project.

© 2000 Van's Air Force Western Canada Wing

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Revised: Friday, 28-Sep-2001 07:33:19 PDT