Now they are teaming up through their love of aviation as AOPA’s You Can Fly Champions.
Critically acclaimed singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley and three-time member of the U.S. Unlimited Aerobatic Team and National Aerobatic Champion Michael Goulian are hoping to inspire people from all walks of life to go up for their first flight and enjoy the experience of flying as much as they do.
AOPA announced the You Can Fly Champions August 19—a fitting day, National Aviation Day, which coincides with Orville Wright’s birthday. Bentley and Goulian are touting the freedom of flying to attract student pilots, increase the diversity of the pilot population, and create a greater appreciation for aviation.
With nearly 4,000 flight hours, Bentley said, “I’m a big champion of aviation and what it allows you to do. I think I do represent a large part of the population that has to travel for work…[and I’m hoping to] shed light on what is possible in aviation as far as quality of time and quantity of time goes with your family. It’s a huge honor.”
Goulian is no stranger to AOPA—the aerobatic champion and owner of a Cirrus Aircraft training and management company has supported AOPA in many initiatives. “As far as You Can Fly goes, I think what you’re doing in the high schools is amazing. We need to expose people to this great industry at a young age,” he said. “When you get them in high school, they’re old enough to start to know what they like and what they want, and to expose them to that at that point, I think, is fantastic.”
AOPA will be adding more You Can Fly Champions. Pilots can watch Bentley and Goulian talk about their passion for aviation and follow them on social media.
“It’s about community with anything that you’re doing,” Bentley said. “AOPA has created this unbelievable community, message boards, ways to contact other pilots. I would tell anybody it’s awesome being a pilot, but it’s not about doing it all by yourself. The heart of getting into this whole thing is when you see another guy that’s a pilot, another girl that’s a pilot, you have this instant bond.”