Irving inspiration Irie!

KINGSTON, Jamaica, June 29, 2007 – South Florida-based, Jamaican-born pilot Barrington Irving has been called an inspiration to Jamaica and the world by the country’s Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller.

Simpson Miller’s comments came as the 23-year-old completed his historic flight around the world Wednesday and returned back to the Miami airport on a plane he had made.

The PM said Irving’s in building an aircraft from scratch and completing the journey around the world, shows his perseverance and indomitable Jamaican spirit.

Simpson Miller spoke to the 23-year old by telephone today, shortly after his aircraft touched down in Miami after his record setting around the world flight. She told him that all Jamaicans were proud of him and thanked God for keeping him safe on the journey.

Irving for his part says he is anxious to visit Jamaica and the prime minister told him that she was looking forward to leading Jamaicans in welcoming him back home.

Minister of Tourism Aloun Assamba represented the government and people of Jamaica at the Opa-locka Executive Airport in Florida where Irving’s single engine plane landed Wednesday. She was among a large group of flag waving Jamaicans and press who were on hand to witness the historic event.

Irving has set the record for being the youngest and first black person to fly solo around the world. His 21,000 mile trip included stops in Spain, Italy, Greece and Japan. The aerospace student who built his aircraft from donated parts began his journey on March 23. He says the most difficult part of the trip was the weather and keeping his mind occupied on long flights. (Copyright