The John C. Webster Memorial Trophy Competition was established in 1932 by the late Dr.J.C. Webster of Shediac, New Brunswick to perpetuate the memory of his son, John, who lost his life at St. Hubert, Quebec in an aircraft accident while practicing to represent Canada in an aerobatic flying competition, the Trans-Canada Air Pageant. The previous month, July 1931, John flying his Curtiss-Reid Rambler, had represented Canada in the King's Cup Air Race held in England.
The Webster Memorial Trophy Competition is an annual event intended to declare the "top amateur pilot in Canada." Interrupted once by WW II and again in 1954 due to escalating administrative costs, the Competition was reactivated in 1980 under the sponsorship of Air Canada and is now under the organization of the Canadian Sport Aeroplane Association, whose aims and objectives include the promotion of sport aviation in Canada. The Competition is also recognized by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI), as a national sporting event. FAI is the world body responsible for the control of competitive sporting aviation and the homologation of world records, wherever they are undertaken in the air or in space, as a result of human endeavor.
The Webster trophy itself was designed by the renowned Canadian sculptor, R. Tait MacKenzie. It is a beautiful bronze figure of the mythical Greek god, Icarus and symbolically represents youth and flight. The trophy is prominently displayed at the National Aviation Museum in Ottawa who generously make it available for the symbolic presentation to the winner at the Webster Memorial Trophy Competition Presentation Banquet
ELIGIBILITY OF COMPETITORS
The "Webster" is open to any Canadian citizen, British subject or landed immigrant holding a valid Canadian pilot licence, excepting persons who have:
Regional eliminations are normally held at 9 centres across Canada and should be completed by mid July. Each regional candidate completes a flight test, (similar to the Private Pilot Flight test) conducted by a Designated Flight Test Examiner or senior flight instructor selected for the purpose. The flight test involves about 1 - 1:30 hours of flight time. One winner is declared for each of the 9 Regional centres and this competitor is then eligible to compete at the Competition finals.
At the Competition Finals the nine eligible regional winners vie for the title of "top amateur pilot in Canada." Each year a new Canadian site is selected for the Competition Finals, usually held in mid September.
While participating at the Finals Competition, the finalists receive their basic hotel accommodation and Air Canada, the Competition sponsor, provides free return air transportation to the competition site from the airport nearest to their home served by Air Canada.
The Final Competition consists of two separate flight tests. One flight test essentially covers the upper air work and the other flight test includes pilot navigation skills and some air exercises covering various phases of flying abilities. Applicants are also rated on their ability to prepare for a cross country flight using basic pilot navigation techniques, flight log preparation and in-flight use, and flight planning. As well there is a practical written examination.
A winner and a runner-up are always declared.
PRIZES AND INCENTIVES
The winner is awarded
As well, all Competitors of the Webster Memorial Trophy Competition attract much attention from aviation employers. Any amateur pilot aspiring to a career in aviation, upon entering the Competition, is placed automatically in a position of high visibility; a factor that has served previous winners and competition finalists well when it came to their eventual choice of employment.
Aircraft used in either the Regional or Final Competitions must be acceptable to Transport Canada standards for flight training. They must
Competitors who use privately registered aircraft will be asked to supply evidence of adequate insurance coverage and of aircraft airworthiness. This situation will likely necessitate much closer liaison with the competition organizers as well as the examining officers in order that mutual agreements can be reached before the flights are undertaken.
The Webster Memorial Trophy Competition strives to encourage excellence in amateur piloting skills and is not in any way a profit-making venture.
There are no tricks or surprises during the competition. The written examination, given only at the Finals, is straightforward and covers knowledge a pilot must have to function in the aviation environment.
The Competition provides entrants with a challenge and gives finalists national exposure to senior officials and other dignitaries within the aviation industry. It is a proven fact that many of Canada's potential aircrew employers watch the annual Webster Competition with interest. Many former Webster Trophy winners and other finalists have indeed been offered flying positions within the Canadian aviation industry and elsewhere in the world simply because they accepted the challenge to compete in a friendly contest with their peers. One Webster winner became the president of Trans Canada Airlines.
For further information on the Webster Memorial Trophy Competition can be obtained by contacting