Arrived In Seattle Wednesday; Currently En Route To Denver
ANN REALTIME REPORTING
06.21.07 1300 EDT: It's been an incredible journey... and
it's almost at an end. Barrington Irving, the 23-year-old pilot who
took off from Miami on March 23 in his Columbia 400 aircraft,
dubbed "Inspiration," for a round-the-world flight, is nearing the
finish line. On Wednesday, Irving returned to the US mainland with
a quick stop in Seattle, WA; he is currently en route to Denver,
Prior to his arrival in Seattle, Barrington spent some time in
Anchorage and Juneau, AK, after what he described as a
"challenging" trip across the North Pacific with a stop at Shemya,
in the Aleutian Islands.
"What can I say? It feels good to be back in the USA," Irving
wrote in his online blog June 19, from the Alaskan mainland. "I
know many of you are wondering about my experience crossing the
treacherous North Pacific -- I assure you it was a challenge. I saw
cloud formations I’d never seen in my life and saw winds
shift from almost every direction, gusting to 80 knots (92 miles
"Thanks to the great teamwork with Universal Weather, I was able
to shorten the distance by 100 miles, but the flight was definitely
a greater challenge than the North Atlantic," he continued.
Irving says a bit of good fortune aided his trip to Shemya. "God
opened up a window between two low pressure storm systems.
Visibility was very poor and the ride was a bit turbulent, but
there was just enough visibility for me to land at Shemya. During
this time of year it is normally zero/zero visibility," he
As he has during his other stops throughout the three-month
trip, Irving also took some time to appreciate the local
"Just when I thought I’d seen enough earthly beauty,
Alaska offered a most exciting view from the sky," he writes. "The
weather was similar to crossing the North Pacific, but I was able
to see a few inactive volcanoes and the beautiful coast and
mountainous regions of Alaska about 260 miles south of Anchorage.
It was beauty beyond words that lasted though the evening -- sunset
occurs there around midnight."
When Irving lands in Miami, he will have attained his goal of
being the youngest person ever, and the first person of
African descent (Irving was born in Jamaica) to ever fly solo
around the world.
The trip has taken a bit longer than planned -- Irving originally intended to return home
at the end of last month -- but from the sound of it,
he's enjoyed the journey!