BOSSIP Black History Exclusive: Capt. Barrington Irving Is The 1st Black Man To Fly Around The Globe, He Also Changed Trayvon Martin’s Life

- By Bossip Staff

NBC News - Experience Aviation

Source: NBC NewsWire / Getty

Barrington Irving Shares His Record-Setting Story And Work With Trayvon Martin

If you are unfamiliar with Capt. Barrington Irving, then allow us the esteemed honor of introducing him to you.

Back in 2007 Capt. Irving set a Guinness Book World Record when he became the first Black man and the youngest person ever to circumnavigate the globe. He was only 23 years old. His journey to accomplishing this feat goes back to his teenage years when he first decided that he wanted to take his talents to the clear blue skies.

The South Florida native was in a store when he was struck by the presence of a freshly-dressed man who was exiting a brand new Lincoln Navigator Captain Irving tells BOSSIP exclusively. This man had all the trappings of a successful professional, but there was something different about him. That man, Captain Robinson, approached a young Barrington and asked if he had ever considered becoming a pilot. “I replied that I didn’t believe he was smart enough to be a pilot, but just out of curiosity, I asked the pivotal question, “How much money do you make?” Whatever that number was, it made quite an impression on the soon-to-be Captain, “That’s all I needed to hear. I was going to be a pilot.”

Captain Irving would go on to reject several football scholarships and graduate Magna Cum Laude from Florida Memorial University with the dream of inspiring children in a legendary way. He wanted to be the first Black man to fly around the globe but had no money and no access to a plane, so he built one himself. But not without a little finessing…

Irving researched the companies that supplied parts for airline companies and put a plan in motion to gather individual airplane parts one-by-one until he had a fully functional aircraft, with a few exceptions. Captain Irving took his record-setting flight without much of the modern equipment that pilots rely on heavily to maintain the safest flying conditions possible. After smooth-talking his way into the office of an engine company’s CEO, Barrington was able to convince the executive to give him a free plane engine. The rest, as they say, is history.

Upon returning from his historic voyage, Captain Irving put his heart and soul into the non-profit organization he founded called Experience Aviation that is dedicated to bridging the gap between STEM awareness and skills by using aviation to build STEM aptitudes in students. In order to expand the work, Irving developed a curriculum called Flying Classroom that creates content for school to give K-8 kids lessons on how STEM can be used in practical ways in a variety of career paths.

Barrington Irving and Trayvon Martin

Source: Barrington Irving / Barrington Irving

In addition to Flying Classroom, the Captain developed another program called Build & Soar that teaches kids how to construct a legit aircraft that is capable of flight and a street-legal race car faster than a Ferrari. As a South Florida native, this program appealed to the children in the area and for four years, one of those children was none-other than Trayvon Martin. Much like Barrington, Trayvon put down the football and picked up a book and some tools to learn how to build an airplane. Sadly, that dream was taken from Trayvon while many of the kids who were in Build & Soar with him went on to become successful contributors to the aviation industry.

Barrington Irving and Trayvon Martin

Source: Barrington Irving / Barrington Irving

To honor Trayvon’s dream and 25th birthday, Captain Irving and The Trayvon Martin Foundation are raising funds to create the opportunity for 25 youngsters to build a 1965 Ford Daytona Coupe race car. That car will be unveiled during the Super Bowl 54 in Miami next year.

Barrington Irving and Trayvon Martin

Source: Barrington Irving / Barrington Irving

You can follow Barrington Irving on Instagram: @BarringtonIrving

You can support these efforts by clicking the GoFundMe link. These funds will provide resources for the 25 students who will be building the Trayvon Martin race car.

Be on the lookout because we have a feeling you’ll be seeing a LOT more of Captain Barrington Irving very, very soon.

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