Circumnavigation Flight At Halfway Point

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Barrington Irving, the 23-year-old Miami pilot whos trying to become the youngest pilot ever to circumnavigate the world, was, at this writing, in Calcutta and about half way through the trip. He left Miami on March 26 and had hoped to be back by now but weather and maintenance checks on his Columbia 400 have combined to slow the schedule somewhat. Hes now hoping to get back to Miami by the end of this month and, after flying through sandstorms and being stalled by a tropical depression over India, hes facing what might be his biggest challenge on the trip -- his longest leg, a 1,530-nm trip from Japan to Alaska. Irving will hopscotch through Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan before launching from Asahikawa for the 12-hour trip over the North Pacific to Shemya, in the Aleutians. The aircraft has extra tanks and an estimated range of 1,900 nm. From Shemya its on to Anchorage, Seattle, Denver and Houston before the final leg to Miami. Irving, who was born in Jamaica but grew up in the inner city of Miami, said hes making the flight to try to inspire other minority and inner-city kids.