Zara Rutherford, a 19-year-old pilot takes off on the quest of becoming the youngest woman to fly solo around the world. The young pilot took off from her hometown Kortrijk, at Wevelgem Airport in Western Belgium on August 18. She left flying in a Shark ultralight, which is said to be the World’s fastest aircraft manufactured in Europe purposely for long journeys.
She initially planned leaving last week, but delayed to install an improved camera system inside the plane to aid capture her journey around the globe. The three-months journey takes Rutherford to 52 countries, 5 continents and across the equator twice. The circumnavigation makes room for 70 planned stops with 19 resting days. She plans to land in Dubai on October 23 and have her final scheduled landing back in Belgium on November 4.
The British-Belgian flyer has both parents to be Pilots and she started learning how to fly since she was 14 years old. However, she only started her formal training and had her first license in 2020. Setting off on this 932,000-mile journey around the world, Rutherford confesses that it has been her dream for a really long time but it always seemed unrealistic.
The teenager self-funded the trip and alongside seeking sponsors, she had to sell her car. Rutherford aims greatly at creating awareness of women in aviation and by so doing, she plans stopping for one or two nights in each location to meet schools and youth groups in the various countries.
If Zara Rutherford is successful in this trip, she becomes the youngest woman to circumnavigate the world solo breaking the record of Shaesta Wais, who made her journey at 30 years in 2017. Currently, the youngest male record holder is an 18-year-old Travis Ludlow from UK, who completed his round in July this year.
Rutherford will start university next year with the dream of becoming an Astronaut, because of her intense passion for space. To track her flight around the globe, visit Flyzolo on Instagram.