A 19-year-old girl flew around the world alone! Zara is the youngest woman to fly solo around the world!
A 19-year-old girl flew alone around the world, becoming the youngest woman to fly solo around the world, a performance worthy of the record book. Zara Rutherford spent 155 days in the ultralight Shark Aero before landing in Kortrijk-Wevelgem, Belgium, after a long journey around the world.
Zara Rutherford is a Belgian-British pilot who holds private pilot licenses in the US and the UK, plus Slovak and French light aircraft licenses. She says she has been flying "for as long as I can remember" and that one of her biggest dreams has always been to fly around the world.
At just 19 years old, after graduating brilliantly in mathematics, economics, and physics, the ambitious young woman set out from Belgium, heading west to fulfill her dream.
Zara made 60 stops on five continents and flew to 41 countries. It flew about 52000 kilometers. Originally planned to last about three months, the trip was hampered by several problems. In fact, when he arrived in Alaska, only three of the 39 flights he had flown went according to plan.
One of the reasons he made this challenging journey was to encourage girls and young women to start careers in aviation.
Delays due to bad weather have led to the expiration of the visa for Russia. She had to wait in Nome for her passport to be sent to the Russian consulate in Houston. Even then, he had to wait another three weeks before the weather was good enough in both Nome and Russia to cross the Bering Strait.
There were also technical issues. The breakdown of New Mexico's instrument clocks caused problems, and a broken tire blocked it in Singapore for Christmas. He had to deal with flying smoke from California fires and smog from Delhi.
In addition to becoming the first woman to fly solo around the world, Zara broke other records. She becomes the first woman to fly an ultralight around the world and the first Belgian to fly around the world solo.