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Barrington Irving

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Barrington Irving
Barrington Irving talks about his experiences as the first African-American and youngest person to fly solo around the world.
Barrington Irving in 2008
Barrington Irving, Jr.[1]

(1983-11-11) November 11, 1983 (age 39)[2]
Known forFormerly youngest person to circumnavigate the world solo[5]
First black person to circumnavigate the world[6]
AwardsJamaica - Order of Distinction, Commander Class (2007)[7]
United States - 110th Congress, House Resolution 601 (2007)[8][9]

Captain Barrington Irving Jr. (born November 11, 1983) is a Jamaican-born American pilot who previously held the record for the youngest person to pilot a plane around the world solo, a feat he accomplished in 2007. He is also the first black person and first Jamaican to accomplish this feat. His airplane, a Columbia 400 (Cessna Corvalis 400), is named the "Inspiration", and was manufactured and assembled by the Columbia Aircraft Mfg. Co. in 2005, classified as a standard aircraft in the utility category using over $300,000 in donated parts.

Early life and education

Irving was born in Kingston, Jamaica, where he lived until age the age of six. He grew up in Miami Florida, with parents Barrington Irving and Clovalyn Irving. [10] Barrington grew up believing college football was his only avenue to higher education. At age 15, Irving met United Airlines Pilot, Captain Gary Robsinson, who took the time to talk to Barrington about his career. Once Barrington discovered aviation as a career possibility, especially the potential income of airline pilots, he had his sight set towards the sky.

As a student at Miami Northwestern Senior High School, Irving turned down multiple Division 1 football scholarship offers to pursue his passion for flight. Irving graduated from Broward Community College and Florida Memorial University, where he graduated with a Bachelors in Aeronautical Science, Magna Cum Laude.[11] At Florida Memorial University, Irving earned his Private, Commerical and Certified Flight Instructor licenses with an Instrument Rating.

Discover more about Early life and education related topics

Kingston, Jamaica

Kingston, Jamaica

Kingston is the capital and largest city of Jamaica, located on the southeastern coast of the island. It faces a natural harbour protected by the Palisadoes, a long sand spit which connects the town of Port Royal and the Norman Manley International Airport to the rest of the island. In the Americas, Kingston is the largest predominantly English-speaking city in the Caribbean.



Miami, officially the City of Miami, known as "the 305", "The Magic City", and "Gateway to the Americas", is a coastal metropolis and the seat of Miami-Dade County in South Florida. With a population of 442,241 at the 2020 census, it is the second-most populous city in Florida. The Miami metropolitan area is the ninth-largest in the United States with a population of 6.138 million in 2020. The city has the third-largest skyline in the U.S. with over 300 high-rises, 58 of which exceed 491 ft (150 m).



Florida is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States, bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico; Alabama to the northwest; Georgia to the north; the Bahamas and Atlantic Ocean to the east; and the Straits of Florida and Cuba to the south. It is the only state that borders both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Spanning 65,758 square miles (170,310 km2), Florida ranks 22nd in area among the 50 states, and with a population of over 21 million, it is the third-most populous. The state capital is Tallahassee and the most populous city is Jacksonville. The Miami metropolitan area, with a population of almost 6.2 million, is the most populous urban area in Florida and the ninth-most populous in the United States; other urban conurbations with over one million people are Tampa Bay, Orlando, and Jacksonville.

Miami Northwestern Senior High School

Miami Northwestern Senior High School

Miami Northwestern Senior High School is a public four-year high school located in Miami, Florida, United States

Florida Memorial University

Florida Memorial University

Florida Memorial University is a private historically black university in Miami Gardens, Florida. It is a member of the United Negro College Fund and historically related to Baptists although it claims a focus on broader Christianity.


On 23 March 2007, while still an undergrad student at Florida Memorial University, Irving flew a Columbia 400, a single-engine aircraft named "Inspiration", solo around the world. He arrived back on 27 June 2007, having completed the 24,600-mile circumnavigate. Upon completing the trip, Irving, who was 23-years old at the time, became the first black person to circumnavigate the globe and at the time, the youngest person to do so. The completion of the flight earned Barrington a title in the Guinness Book of Records.

Through his platform, Captain Irving founded The Flying Classroom and Experience Aviation to invest, inspire and empower young professionals in STEM+ and aviation careers. The Flying Classroom, LLC, launched in 2013, is a K 12 integrative STEM+ supplemental curriculum to educate and connect young professionals to STEM+ and aviation careers. Through a proprietary platform, students can explore over 55 STEM-focused global expeditions and have access to 165 interactive and virtual lessons.

In fall of 2022, Irving announced his plans of partnering with industry stakeholders to build an aviation workforce training center in Miami. The training center will aim to increase the number of young professionals in the business aviation industry, with an initial focus on maintenance-related careers.

Experience Aviation, founded in 2005, is a 501-C3 non-profit organization based at Opa-Locka Executive Airport that utilizes Aviation to build STEM skills in students to address the shortage of STEM professionals by engaging in STEM-related industry challenges. It brings hands-on, project-based, and interactive STEM experiences to the youth, such as building hovercrafts, aircraft, and supercars across the nation.

Irving's record was broken in 2012 by the 22-year-old Swiss pilot Carlo Schmid, in 2014 by 19-year-old American pilot Matt Guthmiller[12] and in 2022 by 17-year old British-Belgian pilot Mack Rutherford.[13]

In the Media

On October 2022, Titans of Business Aviation, Capt. Barrington Irving and Community Partners announced the Launch of a Business Aviation Professional and Technical Aviation Training Center.

In 2019, Flying Classroom partnered with Bombardier, Inc. to launch The Flying Classroom Bombardier Academy to familiarize college students, military veterans, and technical school students with business aviation careers in maintenance.

August 2018, Capt. Irving lands STEM in Opa-locka. Captain Barrington Irving will oversee vocational programming and training for area youth and college students.


Documenting Irving’s historical global flight and achievements, Scholastic published Captain Barrington’s riveting autobiography, Touch the Sky, which aims to inspire underrepresented kids to pursue their dreams.

Awards and recognition

In 2007, Irving became the first black person to fly solo around the world, a feat which enlisted him in the Guinness Book of World Records. As a celebrated aviator, Barrington has been recognized by leaders like President Barak Obama and has received a Congressional Resolution for his pioneering work in education in technology. In 2012, Irving was recognized as an Emerging Explorer by National Geographic. Among other honors, Irving holds the NASA Trailblazer Award and the NBAA 2019 American Spirit Award.

Personal Life

Irving currently resides in Miami, Florida with his wife and four children.


Barrington Irving served as a mentor to Shaesta Waiz, the first civilian female commercial pilot from Afghanistan and the record-holder of the 8th woman to fly solo around the world in a single-engine aircraft.

Source: "Barrington Irving", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 25th),

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  1. ^ "H. Res. 661 [110th]: Honoring the accomplishments of Barrington Antonio Irving, the youngest pilot and first person of..." Retrieved 2011-10-31.
  2. ^ Moore, Clayton (1983-11-11). "Airport Journals". Airport Journals. Archived from the original on 2012-03-23. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
  3. ^ "Interview With Barrington Irving Who Will Fly Solo Around The World (Jamaica)". August 2006. Retrieved 2011-10-31.
  4. ^ "NASA - [email protected] Aviation". 2008-08-01. Retrieved 2011-10-31.
  5. ^ "Young Pilot Ends Round-The-World Solo Trip". CBS News. 2007-06-27.
  6. ^ Samuels, Robert (2007-06-27). "Young pilot completes round-the-world flight". Miami Herald.
  7. ^ "Barrington Irving Inducted into African American Library", November 9, 2007.Archived January 16, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "H.Res.661: Honoring the accomplishments of Barrington Antonio Irving, the youngest pilot and first person of... OpenCongress". Archived from the original on 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2011-10-31.
  9. ^ Published 18-Feb-08 (2008-02-18). "Youngest Pilot Jamaican Barrington Irving Honoured by US Congress". Retrieved 2011-10-31.
  10. ^ "Pilot Eyes the World". Associated Press. 2007-03-23.
  11. ^ "Barrington Irving | Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color". Archived from the original on 2019-10-16.
  12. ^ "MIT student finishes record flight around the world". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  13. ^ Cassidy, Amy (2022-08-24). "Teenage pilot becomes youngest person to fly solo around the globe". CNN. Retrieved 2022-08-25.
External links
  • Experience Aviation - includes GPS-enabled flight tracker
  • uVu - exclusive video highlights of historic trip; keyword search: Barrington
  • Flying Classroom [1]

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