To most pilots, aviation is a passion. Flight is a way of life. Being able to ‘slip the surly bonds of earth,’ as John Magee put it, is something we think about on a day-to-day, hour-to-hour, and even minute-to-minute basis. The joy of flying can transcend so many activities we love when we’re confined to terra firma. A guy who knows a thing or two about this passion is air show superstar, Red Bull Air Race pilot and Garmin ambassador, Michael Goulian.
“People that come to me and say ‘hey I’d like to become a pilot,’ I tell them that it is the coolest thing that they will ever get to do. Riding bikes are cool, motorcycles are cool, skiing is cool, surfing is cool, but nothing can compare to flying an airplane by yourself, and I tell them that,” Goulian said.
Goulian grew up in aviation at his family’s flight school, washing airplanes, doing oil changes, and just being around the family business. He soloed on his seventeenth birthday, and ignited the career of what would become an iconic aviation performer and competitor.
“Airplanes are still magic to people, and if you’re a person that wants to find out what your personal limits are, and just explore, aviation is it. You don’t have to do it as a career, just as a hobby is amazing, and there’s nothing that can be said that’s bad about taking an airplane out just to go and have fun,” Goulian explained.
He performs at air shows and air races all over the world, but has never forgotten about the true essence of flight.
“In America, to be able to take an airplane into the sky on a Saturday afternoon just to go and enjoy yourself and be in the sky commanding a machine is something that is indescribable,” Goulian said.
Goulian grew up just outside Boston, Massachussets and has been flying airplanes for just over 30 years. He is one of only seven people to be awarded all three of the air show industries most prestigious awards which include the Art Scholl Memorial Showmanship Award, Bill Barber Award for Showmanship, and the ICAS Sword of Excellence. His airshow performances are in an EXTRA 330SC equipped with our G3X Touch flight display, and he commutes the country in a Cirrus SR22 equipped with the Garmin Perspective flight deck.