COPY-Pilot claims to set record as youngest to fly around world solo

Associated Press - June 28, 2007 6:04 AM ET

OPA-LOCKA, Fla. (AP) - A 23-year-old man is back on solid ground today and claiming to be the youngest pilot -- and the first black person -- to fly solo around the world.

Barrington Irving completed his three-month trip yesterday in a plane he built himself from more than $300,000 in donated parts.

The aerospace student flew the "Inspiration" over 27,000 miles.

Irving's record-setting claim may be true, but officials at the National Aeronautic Association say they do not track pilots' age or ethnicity.

The Jamaican-born Irving says his mission is to bring hope primarily to inner-city minorities. He says he wants to inspire them "to do more with their lives than resort to violence".

Irving is enrolled at Florida Memorial University and has earned private and commercial pilots licenses.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.