On June 27, 2007, 23-year-old Captain Barrington Irving secured his place in history as the youngest person and first black pilot to fly solo around the globe. On his 97-day journey, he flew 30,000 miles in a single-engine aircraft called Inspiration. His purpose in making the trip was to show other youth that if he could achieve his dream, they could too.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, and brought up in inner-city Miami, Barrington saw a football scholarship as his only route to college. But at 15, he met Jamaican airline pilot, Captain Gary Robinson, whose mentoring helped motivate the young man to pursue a professional career in aviation.
In 2003 Barrington founded the nonprofit Experience Aviation and set up the Experience Aviation Learning Center that continues to offer STEM-based programs and career guidance to middle and high school students in the Miami area.
In September 2014, Barrington launched the Flying Classroom, the world’s first-ever interactive STEM+ learning adventure. Flying to 13 countries in North America, Asia, Indonesia, and Australia, he explored real-life applications of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, history, geography and humanities (STEM+) through 16 powerful ground, air, and sea expeditions. Students followed his adventures at www.flyingclassroom.com as part of their school’s science curriculum.
A Magna Cum Laude graduate of Florida Memorial University, Barrington was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2012. He is the recipient of a Congressional Resolution acknowledging his pioneering work in aviation education and a Guinness World Record as the youngest person to fly solo around the world.