Pilot could fly into the record books

first_imgA 23-year-old pilot landed his single-engine plane as onlookers cheered Wednesday in Opa-locka, Fla., becoming what he says is the youngest person to fly solo around the world. Before ending his three-month trip, Barrington Irving circled the Opa-locka airport and flew low along the runway as a band played. He smiled and waved as he climbed out of the plane in his tan jumpsuit, hugging and praying with friends and family. “I am home,” he said quietly when he stepped to a microphone. The long flight challenged him mentally and physically, he said, and “I am proud to have had the opportunity to live my dream.” Irving, an aerospace student who built his plane from more than $300,000 in donated parts, had left the Miami-area city March 23. His journey covered some 27,000 miles. He claims he is the first black person as well as the youngest person to complete the journey alone, though it was unclear how the claims would be validated. The National Aeronautic Association, the aviation record-keeping authority in the U.S., does not track pilots’ age, sex or ethnicity, said Nathan Rohrbaugh, who helps coordinate records at the organization. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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