On March 23, 2007, Jamaican Barrington Irving stepped into a single-engine plane at the Opa-Locka Airport near Miami and embarked on a 26800-mile, round-the-world flight. Irving was born November 11, 1983, and at that time the youngest person to pilot a plane around the world solo.
Captain Barrington Irving is the first Jamaican and black person to accomplish this incredible feat. His solo flight journey ended on June 27, 2007, in Miami and took 97 days, 150 hours (of flight time) and 26,800 miles. He made 27 stops around the world including Canada, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, the United Arab Emirates, India, Thailand, China, and Japan.
One of Captain Irving’s main goals for the historic flight was to inspire young people everywhere to believe in themselves and to stay away from negative influences.
Born in Jamaica, Barrington Irving grew up in Miami, Florida. He is a graduate of Miami Northwestern Senior High School and turned down multiple football scholarships so he could focus on aviation
Captain Irving named the single-engine Cessna Corvalis 400 plane that he used on his journey “Inspiration”. He started the nonprofit organization Experience Aviation in 2005 to introduce middle and high school students to career opportunities in aviation and aerospace. The organization has after-school and weekend programs.
Barrington Irving’s record as the youngest person to pilot a plane around the world solo was broken in 2012 by the 22-year-old Carlo Schmid from Switzerland.
In October 2007, the Jamaica National Honour, Order of Distinction (O.D.) Rank of Commander, was conferred on Captain Irving.
In November 2007 Captain Barrington Irving was inducted into the African American Research Library’s Hall of Famous Black Achievers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
See our interview with Barrington Irving
Photo Source: Barrington Irving starts solo flight