Sunday, July 22, 2007

Flying Inspiration

Flying a single-engine plane solo around the world has certainly been done before, but it's still an impressive accomplishment. Barrington Irving was born in Jamaica and grew up in inner-city Miami. You can read his web site to learn about how he became a pilot and obtained an airplane for his recently completed around-the-world flight, which started in Miami on March 23, 2007, and ended successfully there on June 27 (video here). It was quite an adventure. At 23 years old, he is (unofficially) the youngest person to have flown such a solo circumnavigation, and the first black person to have done so. He hopes that his story and accomplishment will demonstrate the power of dreams, and provide inspiration to others, especially to inner city youth.

I'm also a private pilot (sadly inactive) and have the same surname and initials as Mr. Irving (though we are not related as far as I know). I've even flown around the world one time (Boston, Seoul, Frankfurt, Boston in 2002), but the United and Lufthansa crews wouldn't let me near the controls, alas. This of course has nothing to do with Barrington Irving and his accomplishments, but I couldn't resist mentioning these things, and couldn't manage to find a better way to merge them into this post, let alone fly solo around the world. I would like to fly solo across the United States, and someday maybe I will. First I'd need to get an updated medical and a BFR (biennial flight review) to get current, which would probably require a few refresher lessons. An instrument rating would probably be a good idea too, for safety's sake. So much to do, but now I'm tired, and it's time for bed.

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