By Alyssa J. Miller
Congress on Dec. 11 honored AOPA member Barrington Irving with a resolution (House Resolution 661), marking his achievement as the youngest pilot and first African American to fly solo around the world.
From March 23 to June 27, 2007, the 23-year-old pilot flew 24,600 miles around the globe in a Columbia 400 dubbed Inspiration. In its resolution, Congress encouraged aviation-related museums around the country to commemorate Irving’s feat.
During the global jaunt, Irving stopped in 27 cities and talked with children about careers in aviation. He continues that work through his nonprofit organization, Experience Aviation, which encourages young people and minorities to pursue educational opportunities that prepare them for careers in aviation-related fields.
Irving was born in Jamaica and grew up in inner-city Miami. His love of aviation started at the age of 15 with a tour of the cockpit of a Boeing 777. In pursuit of his new passion, he started working for private aircraft owners in exchange for flying lessons. Later, he received a scholarship to attend Florida Memorial University where he is currently a senior majoring in aerospace.
Read more about the adventurous man in “Pilots: Barrington Irving” in the August 2007 AOPA Pilot.
December 18, 2007