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Webster Trophy finalists: where are they now?

Feb. 4, 2013, Winnipeg - The Webster Memorial Trophy Competition has been in existence since 1932 and taking in to account periods where it was suspended due to various reasons, it has certainly produced an amazing number of finalists over that long span of time.


February 4, 2013
By Wayne Foy

If you the reader were to go to the Webster website and click on to the competition link within the masthead and then follow that by clicking on past winners, you would see an impressive list of those winners and runner-ups, posted in bold who had pilot careers with our sponsor Air Canada. One of those winners Gordon R. McGregor went on to become president of the company when it was known as Trans Canada Airlines.

At the end of 2006 the organizing of the competition was given over to Amy Foy as National Administrator and joining her was Wayne Foy as a Webster judge and aviation technical assistant. During the following years the competition has grown quite substantially in stature and gained considerable awareness and involvement within the aviation community. Approximately 50 finalists have had the Webster Week experience and many have also gone on to careers in professional aviation. The Webster Team considers our finalists and alumni as family and efforts are continually made to remain in contact through news updates and other means.

A recent request was sent out to all of the Webster finalists of the past five years from 2007 to 2012 inclusive to find out where those individuals are in their aviation pursuits. The competition is for the Top Amateur Pilot in Canada and some have elected to stay as amateur pilots but many have gone forward into all sectors of commercial aviation. The Webster competition had given many of those finalists’ opportunities to link up with influential people connected with our sponsor and various supporters and to receive sound advice and guidance.

The Webster Team is proud of every one of our finalists and would like to share with the aviation community what many who responded to our survey are doing. It is very impressive. The following comments are from our finalists as they were submitted.

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Finalists – 2007

Andrew Midcalf (Winner): I am currently a First Officer on a Gulfstream G150 with Chartright Air. I generally fly all over North America with the odd flights to Mexico and the Caribbean. Prior to the Gulfstream I was type rated on the C510 Mustang. Before I was employed at Chartright, I was working as a Class II flight Instructor at the Brampton Flying Club. I still keep in contact with the great friends I made during the competition and have gained a wealth of networking from the competition.

Lisa Klassen: I work at Allied Wings in Southport, Manitoba as a Primary Flight Training Instructor providing training to military pilots. I am also the Contractor Flight Safety Officer for Allied Wings. Since the competition, I have obtained my float rating, class 3 instructor rating and class 2 aerobatic instructor rating.

Dave Mountain: I am flying again now with Execaire Aviation. I am based out of the Canary Islands (which are owned by Spain but are located about 100 miles off the western coast of Africa) I just received my upgrade so I am now Captain on the Citation Ultra. I absolutely love the job, we fly throughout Africa and Europe. I have flown in 17 countries in the last 18 months including 2 oceanic crossing.

Alex Cameron: I'm working in Timmins for Thunder Airlines, Captain, King Air 100. We spend most of our time flying in Northern Ontario, specifically the James Bay coast. We have a scheduled passenger service 7 days a week, plus charters and cargo on top of that. I've been with Thunder for 2 years now. Before that I was instructing and teaching at Ottawa Flying Club for 2.5 years.

Dave Blackman: I've just been upgraded to captain on the Dash 8 flying as a UN contractor for Voyageur Airways of North Bay Ontario. So far have had the opportunity to work in support of several UN missions in the African countries of Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, and Somalia. Life is great!!!!

Finalists – 2008

Sandeep Nagpal : (winner) I work for Air Georgian based out of YYZ. I'm a first officer, but hopefully will upgrade over the next few months. I have an ATPL, with a Beech 1900 type rating and a Class 3 flight instructor rating.

Mark Psutka: First Officer with the Saskatchewan Air Ambulance Service. Type rated on the King Air 200, with Proline 21 glass cockpit.
Jason Gregg: Skylink Express. Beech 1900 Captain, ATPL with Class 2 instructor rating.

Finalists – 2009

Cory Raby: (winner) I'm still with Bearskin Airlines as a First Officer. Still working on getting the ATPL, with about 250 hours to go.

Kevin Dhaliwal: (runner-up) I am currently a class 2 instructor at Coastal Pacific Aviation in Abbotsford, BC.

John Painter: Skynorth Air, MU-2 and King Air 1st Officer (Medivac).

Aaron Lehman: After the competition I flew a 185 and a Beaver on floats for 2 seasons. Now I'm captain on a Navajo flying for Skycare Air Ambulance in Sioux Lookout, ON. We fly charter's all over Ontario and Manitoba, and also provide medivacs in Metro 2 aircraft.

Nicholas Sneider: I am currently the Lead Pilot at BT&E (an oilfield based company in Alberta) while attending the University of Alberta full-time in the Bachelor of Commerce degree program.

Phiroze Contractor: I am now a first officer with an Indian based airline called jet airways. I fly the Boeing 737-700/800/900. I’ve been flying for almost a year and a half now and done about a 1000 hours on the jet.

Thomas Clark: I am currently working for a company out of Quebec called Skyjet. I am copilot on the King Air 200. After Webster, I completed my commercial, multi-IFR and also a class 4 instructor rating. I did a bit of flight instructing in Quebec as well.

Finalists – 2010

Cameron McLean: (runner-up) I am currently flying in northern Saskatchewan in La Ronge. I am a co-pilot on the twin otter flying wheels, floats and skis and loving every minute of it!

Cody Neill: I flew last year a pa-22 on floats for a fishing outfit out of Kenora called Canada Outfitters. This upcoming season I will be flying a Cessna 185 on floats for Nestor Falls Fly In. Probably doesn't fit your traditional Webster alumni aspirations but it’s my dream job!

Finalists – 2011

Kevin Aalders: (winner) I'm instructing at Centennial Flight Centre. I am still a class 4 but soon to be a class 3. I had managed to accumulate about 400 hrs. in my first six months of instructing though so as soon as the weather starts cooperating I hope to be back on that track.

Matthew Duplan: I am currently finishing up my last term at the University of Waterloo in the Geography and aviation program. I have my Group 1 Multi IFR and am beginning to look for a job in northern Ontario.

Oliver Darroch: I finished my commercial. Haven't flown since March. I am in Australia escaping the cold teaching sailing, working at a bar and sailing. Planning on getting things going in April when it isn't negative 30 or negative 40 like it was last weekend in Ottawa. It's positive 30 to 40 here.

Joshua Shea: I'm currently a Class 3 instructor working for the Ottawa flying club with just over 510 hrs. and working towards my Group 1 instrument rating.

Finalists – 2012

Andrew Woods: (winner) I'm currently in my fifth and final semester at Confederation College, and will graduate in April. Since the Webster, I have completed a multi-engine rating and I had my commercial ride in late November. The ride went very well, and I'm just flying off a few hours before I submit my application to TC. After grad I'm hoping to get a position at the college as a flight instructor.

Peter Heron: I'm still employed with Kenn Borek Air as a dispatcher. In about 4-6 months I'll be trained as a First Officer on either a Twin Otter or King Air 200.

Andrea Marrocco: I'm still working at the Ottawa Flying Club as a flight instructor Class 4. I teach a few ground school classes and am working on my multi initial as well.

Robert Forrest: I am currently enrolled in my final year at Greenwood Flight Centre and I hope to finish with my Commercial Multi-IFR by the summer of 2013.

Shane Lanouette: Basically since the competition I have just been working, with air Canada still, and doing lots of traveling. I have completed most of the hours I need for my CPL and have done a fair amount of studying for the written. I hope to eventually hopefully get on with a local commuter or sky diving company.

Many of our finalists credit Webster with building their self-confidence and also assisting them in jump-starting their careers. Is this where you would like to be someday? Perhaps Webster could help. Compete.