The 2017 airshow season, which officially kicks off April 4 with the opening of SUN ‘n FUN, will mark a milestone for Michael Goulian: 30 years since his debut airshow performance as a teenager in 1987.
He’ll celebrate that milestone with a packed calendar that includes shows across the USA, plus eight international stops as a contender for the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.
Goulian’s first airshow flight was a home affair at Hanscom Field in Bedford, Massachusetts, right where he’d learned to fly. Three decades years later, his calendar includes flying his Extra 330SC at this year’s SUN ‘n FUN, as well as at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.
Team Goulian kicked off its 2017 racing season by claiming the DHL Fastest Lap Award at the opener of the Red Bull Air Race in Abu Dhabi on Feb. 10-11.
Goulian will pilot his custom Edge 540 V2 raceplane against the best in the sport at seven more stops, including the championship’s first-ever visit to the Russian sporting capital of Kazan, and races in home skies at San Diego and Indiana’s legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“Flying and racing amazing planes around the globe is something I never imagined possible when I was a kid. But now that I have been living this dream for many years, I feel lucky and privileged to be doing so, and I never take any flight for granted,” says Goulian.
Not taking flights for granted is part of what has earned the former U.S. National Aerobatic Champion a host of honors, including the air show trifecta of the Art Scholl Memorial Award, the Bill Barber Award, and the ICAS Sword of Excellence.
Goulian also has a deep appreciation for the organizations that partner with Goulian Aerosports, noting, “We’re very proud to announce that our longtime partners Goodyear Aviation, Whelen Engineering, and Aviall will again be joining forces with us for the 2017 season.”
Back when the young Goulian made his airshow debut, he was thrilled to receive a letter of thanks from a local US Air Force Lieutenant General, never suspecting that 30 years later he’d be performing in shows along with the USAF Thunderbirds, the Snowbirds of the Canadian Forces, and the U.S. Navy Blue Angels (who have made him an honorary member).
“One of the great honors bestowed upon me each year is to be able to share the sky with our military,” Goulian states. “The example of excellence and selflessness they show to their fellow performers and our nation is simply inspirational. I’m honored to call many of them friends, but I am still awed by their dedication to professionalism.”
Goulian adds he’s eager for the season to begin.
“Even though I flew my first show in 1987 at a very young 18 years old, I still look at each airshow and each race with the same excitement as I did many years ago,” he said.