Webster Memorial Trophy Competition 2012

Redbird flight simulators will be used for the  first time in this year's Webster
Memorial Trophy Competition at the Rockcliffe Flying Club in Ottawa August 15.

Countdown to annual top amateur pilot contest 

Wayne Foy reports, "We are now down to the last few weeks before the launch of Webster Week and the 80 anniversary of the Webster Trophy.  All the balls in the air are beginning to drop into their assigned spots and so far no major crisis has occurred requiring correction and valium.  

Hopefully this trend will continue.  We are awaiting some of the documentation required from the finalists however the most of it has arrived already.  They will begin booking their flights with Air Canada within 21 days of their scheduled departures to Ottawa. 

From this point forward my and I will spend a majority of our time fielding bush fires and preparation issues ensuring that the launch of Webster Week commences as smoothly as possible and any problems remain invisible to the finalists and guests.

A recent meeting was held with Rockcliffe Flying Club last week to further finalize details and once again due to their tremendous organization of this year’s event everything is in order except for the assigning of a few tasks.  

A brilliant easy to use spread sheet designed by Robert Desjardins will make it so easy to keep track of times, locations and tasks from one day to the next throughout the entire competition. A job very well done.  There will be one more final meeting in early August to fine-tune anything outstanding.

Invitations: All the invitations to supporters and specific invited guests have been sent out via regular mail as well as an e-mail version to all the alumni.  We are now beginning to receive replies and working on the hope that at least 70 –80% of those mailed will attend plus some of the alumni, it is estimated that we will have well over 100 guests at the Awards Banquet to honour the 2012 Webster finalists and help to celebrate the 80th anniversary.  

A reply sheet is sent along with the invitations which Amy would prefer to have sent back, or at least the requested information from it in order to ensure proper spelling and food restrictions if applicable.  She needs the information for determining total numbers, place cards and seating arrangements.  The earlier the reply information is received the better.

Flight Test Changes:  It has been realized for a number of years that there needs to be major changes to how the flight tests are flown at the national level.  This year those changes have really begun to take place thanks to the tremendous involvement and effort of our Transport Canada (TC) Flight Training Standards Civil Aviation Inspectors (CAI) here in Ottawa.  

With the introduction of Redbird flight simulators into the programme a good portion of the flight testing will take place on this device.  Furthermore the remaining portion conducted in the finalist’s selected aircraft also have new changes incorporated. It is our intention to broaden the scope of testing and to a certain extent get away from the repetition of a Private Pilot Flight Test which the finalists have already flown, anywhere from one to three times in the past.  The inspectors have designed brand new Flight Test Guides and marking scales to accommodate the changes that have taken place.  

The use of Redbird simulators allows for special programmes to be designed around the finalists’ selected aircraft types and also the conduct of exercises which, due to time or prohibition may not take place in an actual aircraft.  This is the first year of such a major change and the Webster Team is extremely excited about the prospects for even greater changes in future years making it more challenging, exciting and fun for the finalists and yet keep it all within the realm of their abilities as amateur pilots.  In the past TC CAIs have used Webster to test out new exercises that they may wish to introduce into the Private or Commercial licensing flight tests.  These changes should allow them even more latitude to explore other areas as well.

Weather:  In the past weather has been the bane of our existence during Webster Week. Everything revolves around the weather being fit enough to get the flying done, sometimes deteriorating to the point where the CAIs must resort to a bad weather flight test which in essence remains close to the circuit pattern in order to determine a winner.  With the introduction of simulators this year at least an approximation of 50% of the flying programme will not be affected by weather and should it turn sour, a winner can definitely be determined in a better manner than in the past.  So if the weather gods look at us favourably both flying and sim tests can be completed without a hitch --- unless of course the simulator gods decide to throw a wrench into things as well.  Excuse my seeming lack of optimism but I go through this worry every year.

Wayne Foy 

2012 finalists

British Columbia, Andrew Michael Burns
Coastal Pacific Aviation

Alberta, Mathieu Jean William Caouette
Skywings Aviation Academy

Saskatchewan, Shane Daniel Lanouette
Regina Flying Club

Manitoba, Peter McKenzie Heron
Harv’s Air Service

Western Ontario, Andrew Curtis Woods,
Confederation College

Eastern Ontario, Andrea Lane Marrocco
Ottawa Flying Club

Central Ontario, Damyan Atanasov Dochev
Seneca College

Quebec, Louis Rousseau
Cargair Ltée (St. Hubert)

Atlantic, Robert Joseph Forrest
Greenwood Flight Centre, Nova Scotia