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Captain Barrington Irving Receives NBAA’s American Spirit Award

VO: At the age of 19, he learned
to fly and forever touch the sky. At 21, he launched non-profit
Experience Aviation. At 23, he became, by far,
the youngest person to fly around the world solo. At 24, he challenged 60 students
to build an airplane and piloted its test flight. At 26, he received the NASA
Trailblazer Award. At 28, he was one of 15
adventurers selected as a National Geographic
Emerging Explorer. At 30, he launched
Flying Classroom. He is a mentor, educator,
humanitarian and inspirational pilot. He is Captain Barrington Irving. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, raised in Miami’s inner city, his life changed forever
when he met Captain Gary Robinson. He was an amazing football player
already at that age had colleges looking for him. Was doing very well in school. And so I said “Hey. Have you ever
thought about flying?” And he said “I’m not smart enough to fly.” And his response to me not only
provoked interest in aviation but that interest in aviation
turned into passion. Barrington comes to me
one day and says “I want to be the youngest pilot,
and the first pilot, to fly around the world solo.” When I met him I basically said
“What are you talking about that you want to
fly around the world?” VO: On March 23, 2007, Barrington
took off in his Columbia 400, named Inspiration. 97 days later on June 27,
he returned. Robinson: All of us in tears, just at the gift of him
coming home safely. And when I opened
that cockpit door, I immediately knew
that was my responsibility was to empower young people So what did I do? I literally surrounded myself with
the business aviation community. And we started to create programs
within Experience Aviation. STEM plus programs. What the plus represents:
how do you use aviation to achieve your highest self? Alexander: We knew that we had
an opportunity to create a revolution in education. And I felt Barrington
was that person. How could we tie the real world
into the classroom? I think that’s exactly
what he’s doing. Barrington always reaches
to the next level. Thank you, Barrington,
for broadening my horizon on my outlook of aviation. I wouldn’t be where I am
without Barrington, as far as a line
service technician. Barrington Irving is a
super hero, a trailblazer, relentless in changing
the world for better. VO: Barrington touched thousands
of young people’s lives. I saw in all of the eyes
of those kids that they had been changed. Brown: I believe they too, one day,
could be a Barrington Irving. Irving: My parents sacrificed a lot. And then my wife and my kids,
they believe and give me the opportunity
to give to others. VO: The NBAA is proud to present
the 2019 American Sprit Award to Captain Barrington Irving. Congratulations, Barrington! Barrington: Dream! Live! Fly!

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