Wings of Hope is honored and excited to welcome Patty Wagstaff and Barrington Irving to our Honorary Council. Both are esteemed pilots whose feats in the air push the limits of aviation performance. But what makes them such great ambassadors for Wings of Hope is their shared passion for using their exceptional aviation talents to serve others.
Patty is a world-renowned aerobatic pilot, a six-time member of the U.S. Aerobatic Team, and has won the gold, silver and bronze medals in Olympiclevel international aerobatic competition. She is the first woman to win the title of U.S. National Aerobatic champion—and one of a select few to win it three times. For more than a decade, she has trained pilots in Kenya who work to protect elephants, rhinos and the country’s natural resources from poachers. She also served as a CAL FIRE pilot before starting the Patty Wagstaff Aerobatic School in St. Augustine, Fla. She was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 2004, and her Goodrich Extra 260 airplane and life story are on display in the The National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution.
Barrington grew up in inner city Miami, surrounded by poverty, crime and failing schools. When he was 15, a chance encounter with a pilot ignited in him a passion for aviation that would lead him to shatter his own expectations and the record books. At 23, he set a Guinness World Record as the youngest person at that time and only African American to fly solo around the world. Barrington is also the founder of Experience Aviation, a nonprofit that aims to boost the numbers of youth in aviation and STEM careers through hand-on programs—like building a plane from scratch! Barrington’s rise from some of the toughest streets in America to recordsetting pilot and STEM educator is nothing short of an inspiration.