Barrington Irving's World Flight Adventure
On Friday morning, Barrington Irving, a 23-year-old college student in Florida, will launch on the first leg of a five-week flight, aiming to become the first African American and the youngest person ever to fly solo around the globe. Irving hopes his quest will inspire other young people to follow their dreams. Born in Jamaica, Irving grew up in a poor neighborhood in Miami, where he says "there was little incentive for me or my classmates to get off the streets and pursue real careers." His life changed at age 15 when an airline pilot offered him a tour of a 777 cockpit. Irving has already launched a nonprofit venture, the Experience Aviation Learning Center in Miami, where school kids can go to learn about aviation careers. Flight simulators there will enable visitors to fly a Columbia 400 and learn about Irving's global trip. His Web site will feature a flight blog during the trip, and a tracking system will enable students to virtually join Barrington's flight in real time.