Red Bull Air Race pilot and airshow rock star Michael Goulian Celebrates 30th Season

4:09 PM

One of the friendliest, and also most talented pilots on the aerobatic circuit, Mike Goulian, is celebrating his 30th season of making us all ask "how the hell does he DO that?" These days, he not only blows us away at major air shows, he is also a successful Red Bull Air Race pilot.

I have only met Mike and his wife Karin once, when they stopped by one of my very first Oshbash events at EAA's big summer family reunion. He did not know me, knew nothing of my event, but found time in between press availabilities, sponsor schmoozing and nightly Oshkosh parties to meet up with a few avgeeks in the EAA Press Tent.

Mike did not have to do this. He could have been a stuck up rock star, and not bothered to show up at some new event he'd never heard of, being thrown by a dude he'd never heard of either. But...he showed up. That's because if you've ever watched him perform, Goulian ALWAYS shows up, and brings his "A" game to the box.

What follows is the press release on this big season ahead for Mike, Karin and their Whelen crew:

The 2017 season will mark a milestone for US pilot Michael Goulian: 30 years since his debut air show performance as an exceptionally talented teenager in 1987. He’ll celebrate 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. At every destination, he’ll share the skills that have earned him the top step on competitive podiums and a triple crown of industry honors.

Goulian’s first air show flight was a home affair at Hanscom Field in Bedford, Massachusetts, right where he’d learned to fly. Thirty years later, his calendar includes flying his Extra 330SC at “The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration,” EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, with over half a million visitors from 80 nations in attendance.

Team Goulian kicked off their 2017 racing season by claiming the DHL Fastest Lap Award at the opener of the Red Bull Air Race in Abu Dhabi on February 10-11. Goulian will pilot his custom Edge 540 V2 raceplane against the best in the sport at seven more stops, including the World Championship’s first-ever visit to the Russian sporting capital of Kazan, and races in home skies at San Diego, California 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 rare air show trifecta of the Art Scholl Memorial Award, the Bill Barber Award, and the ICAS Sword of Excellence. The pilot also has a deep appreciation for the exceptional 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 air show 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 starring 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.”

Now in the best shape of his life and with a passion for aviation that has only grown with time, Goulian is eager for the season to unfold, saying, “Even though I flew my first show in 1987 at a very young 18 years old, I still look at each air show and each race with the same excitement as I did many years ago.”

For more on Michael Goulian’s 2017 season, including updates on air shows, the Red Bull Air Race, and more, visit the newly re-launched Goulian Aerosports website at

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