Mike Goulian was awarded the International Council of Air Shows Sword of Excellence at a ceremony held last night during the organization’s annual convention in Las Vegas. The award is presented annually in recognition of contributions made to the airshow industry by a group or individual.
The International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) is responsible for promoting the safety, and visibility of air show events, promoters, and performers. Established in 1968, ICAS is recognized as the leading authority within the air show industry. Its members assist in providing regulatory governance to air show events in cooperation with the FAA.
Goulian has established himself as a leader in the air show industry over the past 20 years. His career has been highlighted by wins at the United States National Aerobatic Championship in both the Advanced and Unlimited categories. Goulian achieved further popularity as a competitor in the former Red Bull Air Race Championship. In the 1990s Goulian wrote two books on aerobatics: Basic Aerobatics and Advanced Aerobatics. Today, his air show performance is an athletic display of airmanship that combines the precision flying of his competition experience with modern, gyroscopic, high performance aerobatics.
Goulian received the ICAS Sword of Excellence in recognition of his tireless efforts to promote a culture of safety and professionalism within the air show industry, association officials said. Goulian accepted the award on behalf of his team, stating that his successes reflect the dedication of those around him. In a video released at the awards ceremony, Goulian was praised for setting a standard by which all air show participants are measured. His efforts in the air and on the ground have helped to elevate the stature of the air show business to what it is today.
The ICAS Sword of Excellence is considered the highest honor within the air show industry. Since 1981, the Sword has been presented to those who have made significant, selfless contributions to air shows. Past pilot recipients include Bob Hoover, Patty Wagstaff, Sean D. Tucker, Leo Loudenslager, and The Blue Angels.
Goulian becomes only the seventh air show professional to be awarded all three of the air show industries top honors: the ICAS Sword of Excellence, Art Scholl Memorial Showmanship Award, and the Bill Barber Award for Showmanship.