Irving Barrington, a Jamaican born African American met his fate when Capt. Gary Robinson from United Airlines walked into his parent's bookstore. Soon the teenager had been introduced to the world of flight and aviation, but he thought he was not smart enough to fly airplanes.
Well, it turns out he was. Discovering his penchant for aviation Capt. Robinson decided to mentor the young budding aviator, and in June of 2007 - at age 23 - Barrington became the youngest pilot to circumnavigate the globe solo in his airplane dubbed "Inspiration".
Barrington presents a film about his adventure, called "World Flight Adventure", to youngsters anywhere they will listen. Now 23 years old Barrington is convinced that challenging youngsters to understand the diffrence between a career and a job can light up those creative juices and help young inner city kids achieve their dreams.
Barrington grew up in inner city Miami, and he is now involved in a program he started to have inner city Miami kids build an airplane that he will take to the skies this month. "These are inner-city kids and when they began, most didn't even know how to put the drill on the air hose," he said. And yet, when they are finished, those same students will watch their teacher climb aboard a craft they built as a team and soar, smiling, down the runway at Opalocka Airport.
"It really makes a difference when you have someone who genuinely cares about you and wants to help you, especially when they're not family," Irving said about Capt. Robinson's inspiration. "That's how I got into aviation, because someone took the time out for me."
"To be able, as a young person, to bring industry to the classroom in creative ways - it's something dynamic I'm looking to really build upon in a greater way," he said. "(Experience Aviation) has served as the first step on the path of getting that done."
What a wonderful way to introduce the hobby and avocation we pilots have to bring aviation and hope to kids who are learning that its OK to dream and that you can achieve your dreams. What this industry, and country, needs is more people like Irving Barrington and Gary Robinson.
Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds...and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of...wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up, the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, nor even eagle flew.
And while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space...
...put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.