Webster 2023


The Webster Trophy was designed by the famous Canadian sculptor Robert Tait MacKenzie (1867-1938). It is a beautiful bronze figure of the Greek god Icarus, which symbolizes youth and flight.The trophy is on display at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum.

The annual Webster Memorial Trophy Competition is committed to identifying “Canada’s Top General Aviation Pilot”. It has operated since its inception in 1932, interrupted only three times (first by World War II, again in 1954 due to costs, and most recently in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic).

The competition is named after John Webster Jr., a civilian pilot who participated in the 1931 Trans-Canada Air Pageant. In July 1931, John flew his Curtiss-Reid Rambler representing Canada in the King’s Cup Air Race in England. A month later, while in St. Hubert, Québec practising for an aerobatic competition as part of the pageant, John Webster was involved in a fatal aircraft accident. The following year, John’s father (Dr. John C. Webster, of Shediac, New Brunswick) established the John C. Webster Memorial Trophy Competition to perpetuate his son’s memory.

The Webster Memorial Trophy Competition is an annual event, sponsored by numerous aviation companies and organizations – see our supporter pages.  The competition is committed to identifying “Canada’s Top General Aviation Pilot”.  Throughout the various stages of the Webster Trophy Competition, applicants are assessed on the fundamental skills that are expected of the holder of a Private Pilot Licence.

Pilots aspiring to a career in aviation can be proud to affirm that they have competed in one of Canada’s most prestigious aviation events. See our history section for more details, past finalists and winners, and media from the competition.

Who can Apply?


Applicants may be of any Canadian citizenship status, Canadian Immigration Status, or International Citizenship accepted by Transport Canada Civil Aviation licensing regulations and standards.


Applicants must hold one of the following permits or licences as issued by Transport Canada Civil Aviation:

  • Recreational Pilot Permit- Aeroplane
  • Private Pilot Licence- Aeroplane
  • Commercial Pilot Licence- Aeroplane
  • Airline Transport Pilot Licence- Aeroplane


Applicants may not have:

  • Used their pilot licence for hire or reward during the five years prior to the month in which the Webster Memorial Trophy Competition National Finals are held.
  • Served in an operational role as a pilot in any nation’s military during the five years prior to the month in which the Webster Memorial Trophy Competition National Finals are held.
  • Previously been declared the winner of the Webster Memorial Trophy Competition.

The Preliminary Competition

Applicants in the preliminary competition must submit to administrator@webstertrophy.ca :

  1. the application fee of $25 (to be submitted by Interac e-Transfer)
  2. a completed application form
    • When completing the application form, applicants will be able to indicate whether they belong to one of our 4 affiliated national general aviation organizations.
  3. the results of a recent qualifying flight test.

After submitting the complete package, applicants will be given instructions for completing an online assessment of knowledge of air traffic procedures and aerodrome operating procedures.

The Qualifying Flight Test:

Applicants have two options with respect to the qualifying flight test:

  • Submit the report of a licensing flight test for either a Private Pilot Licence or Commercial Pilot Licence, completed between 16 June 2020 and 15 June 2022, or
  • Arrange with any Pilot Examiner authorized by Transport Canada to conduct Private or Commercial Pilot flight tests for aeroplanes to conduct either:
    • a Private or Commercial Pilot flight test, or
    • a flight test using the Webster flight test report form.
      • Applicants choosing the option of a Webster flight test will need to contact the Webster Administrator (administrator@webstertrophy.ca) for a copy of the Webster flight test report form.

Applicants enrolled in an Integrated Course of Commercial Pilot Training for which the licensing flight test does not include an assessment of navigation skills must also submit the results of the VFR Navigation Progress Test conducted as part of the Integrated Course.

Applicants must submit the report of one of the flight tests described above. Multiple flight test reports will not be accepted.

To verify the results and avoid situations in which a flight test report may have been altered or is otherwise unreadable, applicants must provide written permission for the Webster Administrator or representative to contact either the Pilot Examiner (in the case of applicants submitting a Webster Flight Test) or Transport Canada (in the case of applicants submitting a Transport Canada licensing flight test) and receive a copy of the original flight test report directly.

The Online Examination:

NAV CANADA has created an examination covering topics relating to pilot-controller interaction such as: airport operations, communications and airspace. The examination is administered on-line. Applicants will be notified following the receipt of their application package about procedures for completing the examination.

The applicant receiving the top weighted mark on this examination will receive the NAV CANADA Trophy, whether or not this applicant becomes a national finalist.

Selecting the National Finalists:


Six seats are open for competition each year.


Six seats are open for competition each year.

Finalist seats are no longer designated by geographic boundaries and are open for competition across the country. Due to the removal of geographic regions, no more than two National Finalists may come from the same flight school, flying club, flight training unit, or collegiate flying program. Please note that ALL combinations of the above factors will be used to determine applicant origin and the seating for the National Finals.


The winner of each of the six National Finalist seats shall be chosen based on combined and weighted scores from their submitted flight test and the results of the NAV CANADA exam. Flight test items are weighted in a confidential matrix to create a final score different from the score assigned by the examiner.


During Webster Week in Kelowna, the National finalists will complete two flight tests: one in an aeroplane, the other in a Redbird simulator.  Finalists will also write an examination, and undergo an interview with Webster judges. The finalist with the highest blended score on these assessments is named the overall winner; the finalist with the second highest blended score is named the overall runner-up.

The flight tests will be assessed on a basis of:

    • Precision aircraft handling
    • Normal, abnormal and emergency procedures
    • General operational knowledge
    • Overall airmanship
    • Pilot decision making, situational awareness and overall threat awareness and management

The written examination includes:

    • Meteorology
    • Air Law
    • Aircraft operations
    • Human Factors and Pilot Decision Making
    • Theory of Flight
    • Aero engines and airframes
    • General pilot knowledge and airmanship

The interview adresses:

  • General Pilot Knowledge
  • Knowledge of issues facing General Aviation in Canada
  • Knowledge of issues facing professional pilots and Canada’s aviation industry
Webster medal