Seventeen-year-old Mack Rutherford is now the youngest person to fly around the world solo. According to NDTV, he left Sofia, Bulgaria on March 23 in a small aircraft and returned on August 24. During his trip, he journeyed through 52 countries spanning five different continents and crossed the equator twice.
Born in June 2005 to British and Belgian parents, the teen set off on the journey when he was 16, and turned 17 during the trip.
According to Guinness World Records, with his accomplishment, Rutherford now holds two records: one for being the youngest person to fly around the world by himself and another for being the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe in a microlight plane.
With help and support from his sister Zara, who became the youngest female pilot to fly solo around the world earlier this year, he embarked on the journey by himself. He flew in a small single-engine plane and was only able to fly during the day and in agreeable weather, meeting people along the way whenever he landed.
“The most difficult moment on my flight was the flight from Japan to the US,” said Rutherford. “I had to go around Russia because my plane isn’t allowed inside Russian airspace. So I flew directly from Japan to the US.”
“It was a 10-hour flight over the Pacific Ocean and after 10 hours, I landed on a small unhabitable island in the middle of the North Pacific. It was starting to get dark…it was raining…and I saw a small shed on the side of the runway and stayed there for the night.”
The new teen in town:
Rutherford took the record from Travis Ludlow of the UK, who was 18 when he flew around the world solo last year.