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Young pilot resumes trip of 'Inspiration'

Barrington Irving has made it to Europe after a snowy snag in Canada delayed his mission to fly around the earth.

As a result, he will miss the McDonald's Air & Sea Show in Fort Lauderdale where they planned to give him an award for being such a positive role model. Irving left Opa-locka on March 23 on a journey to become the youngest person -- and first black -- to fly solo around the world. He got his first piloting license at 19.

He coralled more than $600,000 in donations to make the trip, after convincing sponsors and politicians to believe in his intercontinental dream.

"I want to show the children that you can achieve all your dreams, " Irving said the day before he left. "I've gone from the kid who started out washing planes to a kid about to do something major."

Irving moved to Miami Gardens from Jamaica when he was 6. Surrounded by negative influences in his new home, he credited his parents for keeping him on the right path.

He was on track to become a college football player when he met commercial pilot and fellow Capt. Gary Robinson.

He became fascinated with flying and dreamed of making history.

He flew out from Opa-locka Executive Airport on a single-engine plane he named Inspiration. Thousands saw him off, tears filling many of their eyes, as it disappeared in the sky.

The Air & Sea Show scheduled his award ceremony for May 2, three days after his planned return.

At first, the trip went according to plan. He made stops in Cleveland and New York. There was a little rain in New York, but nothing major.

Then came Canada.

In Newfoundland, he wrote in his blog, Irving faced snow storms and sub-freezing temperatures. It snowed almost every day for 10 days.

Irving wrote that it would be best to fly when the sky cleared up.

"Although I'm a week and a half behind my original pace I am certainly well rested, " Irving wrote April 3 on his blog at www.experienceaviation.org. Pictures on his site show a snow-capped city, with two to three inches on the ground.

Michael Goodman, spokesman for the Air & Sea Show, said they will happily wait for Irving to return to present him with the award.

No one is sure when that will be.

Inspiration flew again on Easter weekend. On Tuesday, he was in Madrid. On Wednesday, he was in Rome.

He's flown almost 5,500 miles -- and has more than 20,000 to go.

He calls his parents every time he lands, his mother, Clovalyn Irving, said.

He plans to make stops in Greece, Egypt, Thailand, and Colorado before returning to Miami.

When he gets back, he'll finish his aerospace degree at Florida Memorial University.

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