Barrington Irving and Phil Boyer
AOPA President Phil Boyer swapped flying stories with 23-year-old Barrington Irving, the intrepid young man who plans a round-the-world flight in a Columbia 400 in March to promote aviation as a career to other young people.
Irving visited AOPA headquarters and discussed his flight plan with Boyer in front of a digital display of a map of the world. Learning that the Columbia will have an added fuel tank, Boyer told his own story of flying "across the pond" with an added fuel tank in his personal Cessna 340 in 1990 ("Phil and Lois Boyer's Atlantic Adventure"). He cautioned Irving that first flying in the states with the added tank provided a valuable lesson - the tank leaked, and Boyer and his wife Lois were forced to land in Massachusetts.
Irving will leave Miami on March 23, and his route takes him to Ohio and New York before he begins the eastern route across the world. Stops are planned in Madrid, Rome, and Athens - to avoid user fees elsewhere in Europe - and then on to areas such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Alaska, which will require fuel to be shipped in. The five-week journey ends in Jamaica where Irving was born.
At six, Irving moved to Miami with his family. Growing up in the inner city, Irving faced the hopelessness of being a minority youth and had hoped a football scholarship would provide a route to college. But it was a chance encounter with a professional pilot that changed Irving's focus.
"I have AOPA to thank for providing a way to keep me interested in aviation - I read AOPA Flight Training when I couldn't afford to fly," Irving told Boyer. " Flight Training magazine was my window to aviation."
Irving will provide e-mail broadcasts to AOPA during his flight. For more information, visit his Web site.
February 16, 2007