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The First Black Pilot to Fly Solo Around the World Creates Aviation Training School

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by Paulina Isaac

January 4, 2024

Captain Barrington Irving is focusing on the next generation of pilots.

He’s already made history as the first Black and youngest pilot to fly solo around the world. And now, he wants to help other people of color find careers in aviation. There is a major need for this because, according to NBC News, less than two percent of commercial airline pilots are Black.

Irving founded the Barrington Irving Technical Training School to help teach people interested in becoming pilots the tools that are needed to be successful in the aviation industry. He recently celebrated 15 new graduates who completed his training program with a ceremony at Opa-locka Airport in Miami, Florida, where Irving also started his career as a student.

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“I am so proud of them, and to know what they started from,” Irving told News 7 Miami. “Opa-locka Airport is where I got my start. These young people are signing with various companies in the community who said, you know what, ‘We’re going to give you a chance, we’re going to give you an opportunity to flourish within our industry.'”

One of the attendees of the graduation was the Miami Dade mayor, Daniela Levine Cava, who shared her support for the training school. “They are essential to our economy, hard to fill, and we have talent here at home that we are growing,” she said at the event where the school’s future students were also announced.

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At the end of the ceremony, graduate Tremaine Johnson shared his excitement about his career path and how he hopes to be an inspiration to others.

“[I want to] just expand my knowledge of aviation,” Johnson said. “Fueling trucks, parking airplanes, networking with everybody [in] aviation, and lending a helping hand for people behind me that want to get into aviation as well.”

(Cover photo: Black pilot with flight crew/Photo by Shutterstock)

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