There is no question that the aviation industry needs to recruit its next generation of leaders. Miami Executive Aviation's CEO Fabio Alexander (Booth No. N3116) is challenging the business aviation community to support the future by pledging $75,000 to support a flying classroom that Experience Aviation's Barrington Irving is creating out of a Hawker 400XPR that Beechcraft donated to the nonprofit educational organization. Alexander hopes that his generous pledge inspires others to support the unique outreach.
Two years after founding Experience Aviation in 2007, Irving was the first and youngest black pilot to fly solo around the world, at age 23. Since then Irving's organization has participated in Mitusbishi's Dream and Soar: Youth in Aviation initiative, traveling the U.S. to promote science, technology, engineering and math to inner-city middle- and high-school students. Just last year Irving was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer.
"Kids don't have enough educational heroes; with Barrington and the flying classroom all of us in business aviation have an opportunity to support someone who kids can look up to and emulate," said Alexander.
The Hawker 400XPR flying classroom will circle the globe in this upcoming outreach. Cameras will provide 360-degree panoramic views of destinations from ancient archaeological sites to skyscrapers. Apps will track adventures and offer students a stream of challenges over the nine-week journey. Students from different schools around the globe will compete to solve topical global problems that plague us.
Irving will interact with students from the cockpit at 45,000 feet during flights, communicate with the International Space Station and collect environmental data for students to study.
Current backers of the project include Beechcraft, Universal Weather and Aviation, NASA, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Miami Executive Aviation, i-edu, Orion Jet Center, The Gans Family, FlightSafety International , University of Miami, Satcom Direct, Think Global School, Survival Systems USA, SAGLO, Jeppesen, Gold Aviation Services, Oliver Uberti Creative, Socially Engaged Media, and Think Lab Ventures. More information about the trip is at experienceaviation.com.