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Takashi Hirose captures prestigious Webster Trophy

Aug. 27, 2013, Winnipeg - Takashi Hirose has a smile that lights up a room and the Eastern Ontario representative at this year's Webster Memorial Trophy Competition had plenty to smile about this past weekend.


August 27, 2013
By Carey Fredericks

Hirose was named the 2013 winner of the Webster Memorial Trophy Competition, handed out annually to recognize Canada's top amateur pilot. The award was presented during a lavish gala ceremony at the Radisson Winnipeg Hotel on Sat., Aug. 24.

This year's competition was flawlessly hosted by Harv's Air Pilot Training in nearby St. Andrews, Man. Amateur pilots from nine regions of the country competed for the top prize which is determined after a weeklong competition by a bevy of experienced aviation judges. The competition consists of practical flying tests, written exams, and the Redbird Flight Training Device testing portion. NAV CANADA introduced a new challenge for contestants this year testing their pilot-controller communications and understanding.

The competitors from each region included: Andrew Cops (B.C./Coastal Pacific Aviation; Meagan Vacheresse (Alberta/Wetaskiwin Air Services); Cole Janostin (Saskatchewan/Millenium Aviation); Michael Klein (Manitoba/Harv's Air); Yurey Wu (Western Ontario/Waterloo-Wellington Flight Centre); Stuart Loney (Central Ontario/Brampton Flight Centre); Hirose (Eastern Ontario/Ottawa Flying Club/Algonquin College); Mathias Veit (Quebec/Cargair); and Owen Armstrong (Atlantic/Gander Flight Training).

Several key members of the aviation community attended this year's event to honour the contestants, including Air Canada managing director of flight operations Captain Rick Allen and his colleague Captain Dennis Guay, manager of flight standards and quality; Lieutenant Colonel Christopher England, Commanding Officer of the Snowbirds; ATAC's Wayne Gouveia, vice president of commercial general aviation and vice president, Prairie and Northern and many more. Several past Webster winners were also on hand to honour this year's high fliers.

Loney – who couldn't stop smiling himself – was named this year's runner up. Winners of the various regions were bestowed with a treasure trove of aviation gifts from a growing list of sponsors. Wayne and Amy Foy, chief organizers and stewards of the this critical Canadian competition and awards program, once again went above and beyond in expertly navigating the event from start to successful completion.

The Webster Memorial Trophy Competition is one of the most important Canadian aviation award programs. It was founded in 1932 to honour young aviator John. C. Webster who was killed in an aviation accident. Since its inception, the competition has helped produce some of the most impressive leaders in Canadian aviation. The competition today is one of the most important events in Canadian aviation, tying young aviators to leaders in the aviation community.

Next year's competition is already in the planning stages. It will be hosted by the Waterloo-Wellington Flight Centre.