It’s a wrap: 2014 a successful year for the Webster
Sept. 2, 2014, Kitchener, Ont. - The 2014 version of the Webster Memorial trophy wrapped up in Kitchener, Ont. last weekend with Sebastian Leduc capturing top honours. Here are some salient points from this year's event from organizers Wayne and Amy Foy:
The competition this year was plagued most of the week by poor weather which prevented the aeroplane flight test portion of the event to be started on time. It was not until the last two available days that the weather cleared enough to allow the altitude and visibility requirements to be met. Kudos to Transport Canada Civil Aviation Inspector Ray Beland from Ottawa headquarters, who flew relentlessly from that point forward to get those nine tests done. The host this year was the Waterloo-Wellington Flight Centre which not only made available to the Webster Team and finalists all their facility and resources but also adapted to our aircraft and scheduling needs as caused by the weather delays. WWFC also found space for the Redbird Flight Training Device brought up for Webster week from Austin, Texas. The programme relies on the generous support of Redbird for the simulator part of the flight tests. Each year the finalists must fly a navigation exercise in a strange locale such as the Grand Canyon area or Nevada. Last year the trip ended by flying down the Las Vegas strip. This year the trip was to San Diego and ended with a short field landing on an aircraft carrier. Sim testing was done by Inspector Martine Dumas also from TC Headquarters. Got to keep it fun!
Webster week for the finalists includes more than just a competition. We strive to give them a good time while they are at the competition site and this year was no exception. They got to tour the airport fire hall which was extremely interesting and of course visit the control tower as well in their spare time. Aero – Formatech came in with their mobile aircraft fire-fighting unit and all of the finalists took a fire-fighting course which included cockpit fires, galley fires and total smoke escape techniques. On Friday evening at the conclusion of the competition they were all transported to Air Canada in Mississauga where they toured the new B787 simulator and then flew A320 simulators the rest of the evening. On Saturday evening the Awards Banquet took place and was attended by over ninety people many of whom were representing Air Canada, Jazz and a broad sector of the entire aviation community. Hon. Col. Gerald P.J. Haddon, grandson of J.A.D. McCurdy, the first person in the British Commonwealth to fly a powered aeroplane, the Silver Dart was our extremely interesting and fascinating keynote speaker of the evening.
The entire Webster week was also filmed by a film crew from a company known as Other People’s Airplanes, who came up from Florida to shoot the event. Once ready Webster will be featured on You Tube and available for viewing world-wide.
The winner of the 2014 Webster Memorial Trophy Competition was Sebastien Leduc from the Eastern Ontario Region and currently being trained through Seneca College.
The 2014 runner-up is Andrew Bryson, Manitoba Region and flying with Harv’s Air, Winnipeg.
Last year the Nav Canada Trophy was introduced and presented to the highest mark on the Na Canada designed exam. This year it was won by Gregory Yandle, Central Ontario Region also flying with Seneca College.
If it seems strange that there were two Seneca finalists it is because the Webster rules state that where you take your flight test dictates what region you are competing in. Due to an approaching deadline and bad weather in Peterborough (Eastern Ontario Region) Gregory was forced to travel to Toronto to take a Webster test and won the Central Ontario Region.
The Webster winner receives numerous awards and prizes from programme supporters including two tickets from Air Canada for North America and the Caribbean, a development day with the Snowbirds and a phenomenal Hamilton Khaki X-Patrol watch. All of the finalists receive excellent prizes which can be reviewed in the application package on the Webster website at webstertrophy.ca.
Further to the prizes received by the finalists the Flight Training Units benefit as well. Sennheiser Canada gives a grant of $3,000 to the school which encourages the largest number of competitors to enter. This was won again this year by Moncton Flight College. The grant must be applied to the additional training of up to a maximum of four of the current competitors.
Flight Safety International also offers a $2,000 grant to the school of the winner, in this case Seneca College and again it must be used in the same manner as the Sennheiser grant.