Eddie Goggins (53) is a dentist and aerobatic pilot who took his first flight lesson at the age of 18. He represented Ireland at the World Aerobatic Championships and will fly at the annual Bray Air Display this weekend. He lives in Carrickmines with his wife Suzie and their two children, Hailey, 25, and Eddie, 22.
I was a little scared when I was with my brother John. He was an “Irish twin” 11 months older than me. We kept getting into trouble, screwing up and exploring. It was a generation before cell phones. You were sent out to play for the day and would be back in time for dinner. We always went past our curfew.
Her brother died when he was eight. How did that affect you?
i was seven After that, according to my mother, I became a very shy, introverted child.
Does this sadness stay with you forever?
Yes, and it changes you in ways you don’t realize. When you grow up with that level of confidence and the ability to do anything as part of a couple, don’t be afraid of anything. You have someone on your side to defend you. When this is over, you’re very different. I was braver when I had my big brother John with me. I was clueless for many years.
Three words that describe you?
Fun-loving, persistent and curious.
When did your passion for airplanes begin?
I’ve always drawn airplanes. On the soccer field, when the ball rolled by, I looked at the sky because a plane flew by. That’s how I am today. If I coach my son’s American football team at UCD, I might be missing out because I’m looking up. You might think I’d seen enough planes by now.
What drives you?
When I try to do something, I want to do it the best I can. I’m competitive, but winning isn’t as important to me as knowing I did as well as I could.
Who are your role models?
I’m impressed by people who do the right thing even though they’re scared of doing it. I have a friend who is battling addiction. He’s four years off and you can see how difficult it is for him.
How do flying and dentistry go together?
Dentistry excites me, but when I’m up in the air I really focus. It clears the work out of your head.
Best advice you got?
My father always said “happiness comes from hard work” and “do what is right, not what is easy”.
Best advice you give?
Don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done.
And so you never gave up being a pilot…
It’s been on my mind constantly and if it’s on your radar you’ll find a way. You would give up many other things just for the chance to be airborne for 20 minutes.
Why do you love aerobatics?
As a sport, it is constantly evolving. Every year there is a pilot who perfects a new type of tumble. It’s gymnastics in the sky. It satisfies my love of freedom and movement and my competitive challenge.
What do you see up there?
You can see the full circle of a rainbow, and that’s a rare thing.
What do you like best about the Bray Air Display?
It’s a great free day for families. This year they have the Red Arrows, the Irish Air Corps celebrating their 100th anniversary and if you like it top gun, there will be powerful fighter jets. We typically raise money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation by soliciting text donations for a raffle, and the prize is a flight on a two-seat plane.
What is it like to stand on your head?
Your body feels sensations that earthlings don’t feel. When you push and pull G-forces, your internal organs move. Your stomach feels like it has moved out of position.
You also get an immediate, severe headache. But the human body can get used to anything, and you realize you’re doing it for fun.
Bray Air Display is a free event on July 23-24. brayairdisplay.com
https://www.independent.ie/life/upfront-aerobatic-pilot-eddie-goggins-on-focus-family-and-chasing-full-circle-rainbows-41860284.html First of all: aerobatic pilot Eddie Goggins on focus, family and chasing rainbows