H. Res. 661 :: Honoring the accomplishments of Barrington Antonio Irving, the youngest pilot and first person of African descent ever to fly solo around the world [+][+].
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Whereas Barrington Irving was born in 1983 in Kingston, Jamaica, and raised in inner-city Miami, Florida;
Whereas Irving discovered his passion for aviation at the age of 15 when Captain Gary Robinson, a Jamaican airline pilot who has since served as his mentor, took him to tour the cockpit of a Boeing 777;
Whereas Irving overcame financial hardship to pursue his dream to become a pilot by working miscellaneous jobs and working for private aircraft owners in exchange for flying lessons;
Whereas Irving was the recipient of a joint Air Force/Florida Memorial University Flight Awareness Scholarship to cover college tuition and flying lessons for his tireless volunteer efforts and commitment to community service;
Whereas in 2003, Irving contacted companies including aircraft manufacturer Columbia, which agreed to provide him with a plane to fly around the world if he could secure donations and components;
Whereas over several years, Irving visited aviation trade shows throughout the country and secured more than $300,000 of cash and donated components including the engine, tires, cockpit systems, and seats for a Columbia 400, one of the world's fastest single-engine piston airplanes;
Whereas in the process of pursuing his dream of an around the world flight, Irving founded a nonprofit organization in 2005 to address the significant shortage of youth pursuing careers in aviation and aerospace;
Whereas Irving's efforts have garnered widespread community support and sponsorship as an effective model to expose young people and underrepresented groups to opportunities in aviation;
Whereas on March 23, 2007, Irving embarked from Miami, Florida, on a 24,600-mile flight around the world in an airplane named `Inspiration' at 23-years of age while still a senior majoring in aerospace at Florida Memorial University;
Whereas on June 27, 2007, Irving concluded his flight in Miami, Florida, after stopping in 27 cities throughout the world; and
Whereas Irving continues to inspire youth and adults alike with his achievements and work to increase the accessibility of opportunities in aviation and aerospace: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives—
(1) honors the accomplishments of Barrington Irving, the youngest pilot and first person of African descent ever to fly solo around the world and founder of a nonprofit organization that inspires youth to pursue careers in aviation and aerospace;
(2) encourages young people and minorities to pursue educational opportunities in preparation for careers in aviation and related industries; and
(3) encourages museums throughout the Nation related to aviation to commemorate the historic achievements of Captain Barrington Irving.