Nineteen-year-old pilot Zara Rutherford touched down at an airfield in western Belgium on Thursday 20th January 2022, becoming the youngest woman to fly solo around the world, as she closed the loop five months after taking off on her record-breaking journey.
It took her 155 days to circumnavigate the globe aboard her Shark UL plane. That’s two months longer than planned, thanks to a lot of bad weather and visa hold ups.
According to her, she crossed enormous stretches of desolate ocean and had to spend weeks in a tiny Siberian village. Her journey was adventurous as she had to alter course to avoid North Korean Airspace( Kim Jong-Un, North Korea’s Supreme leader won’t not hesitate to shoot her out out of the sky), and wildfires in California. “It’s just crazy, I haven’t quite processed it” she told reporters when she landed in Kortrijk, Belgium.
Rutherford has traveled 28,000 nautical miles since her departure on August 18, and stopping in 41 countries and five continents. It’s a journey that will place her in the Guinness World Records book, replacing U.S. aviator Shaesta Waiz, who set the previous record at the age of 30 in 2017.At the age of 18, Travis Ludlow of the United Kingdom setthe overall record for the youngest aviator to solo circumnavigate the globe last year.
For anyone contemplating a similar adventure, Rutherford, who was met after landing by her Belgian mother and British father — both pilots themselves — had some simple but direct advice: “Go for it.” “It takes a lot of time, patience, a lot of work, but it is incredible,” she said. This achievement will go a long way to teach young dreamers that they can achieve just about anything.
Her mother, Beatrice, said the family would celebrate together, at least at first. “I think Zara wants to celebrate by sleeping about two weeks,” she added.
Who said you cannot achieve anything you put your mind to?