March 25, 2021

COPA Appreciation Award for David Dunsmore


By Ken Zachkewich, AB/NWT Director, Western Vice Chair

David Dunsmore of Calgary, AB, was presented a COPA Appreciation Award by member Trekker Armstrong on January 26, 2021. Armstrong is the chair of the COPA Neil J. Armstrong Scholarship and has a long working relationship with Dunsmore on the Scholarship Selection Committee. In 2019, Armstrong nominated Dunsmore to be eligible for an award for his contributions toward this committee over several years.

Submissions for this year’s Neil J. Armstrong Scholarship are due March 31, 2021.

Dunsmore was the inaugural winner of the COPA Neil J. Armstrong Scholarship in 1996. As the inaugural winner, he was willing to participate on the Selection Committee for future Scholarship awards. He did so for the next 16 years. Since the fund’s inception in 1996, COPA has awarded 70 recipients more than $267,000.

David Dunsmore (left) and Trekker Armstrong.

The competition for these awards is always significant. Successful recipients demonstrate an interest in aviation as a career or strong interest in general aviation in Canada. They are proven self-starters who demonstrate a willingness to learn. Academic skills and community contributions are also taken into account. These qualities character, citizenship, and responsibility have been well demonstrated by Dunsmore, making him a worthy recipient of both the inaugural Neil J. Armstrong Scholarship and this Appreciation Award.

The Neil Armstrong Scholarship Fund was first established in April 1995 through contributions from friends of Neil Armstrong, COPA members and the Canadian aviation community. The purpose of the fund is twofold – to honour one of Canada’s foremost aviation members and to provide flight training to worthy young people who might not otherwise be able to pursue their love of flight and who exemplify the fine character, optimism and love of adventure which were epitomized by Neil J. Armstrong. The Armstrong family along with COPA’s Selection Committee would like to thank David Dunsmore and extend our appreciation through this award for his contributions over the years.

In addition to his contributions on this committee, Dunsmore is also active in the General Aviation community. He was a founding member of the Calgary Mosquito Aircraft Society and served for several years on the Board ( He is also an active member of the local Chapter of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society (

Congratulations David!