Teen Zara Rutherford Becomes Youngest Woman to Fly Solo Around Globe

The 19-year-old pilot hopped the globe in a two-seater plane over 155 days.

Wsjspeeddesk, Aerospace Products/Parts

1/21/2022 2:00:00 AM

Zara Rutherford spent 155 days flying around the world before landing in Belgium Thursday, completing her quest to become the youngest woman to fly around the globe solo

The 19-year-old pilot hopped the globe in a two-seater plane over 155 days.

With her trip, Ms. Rutherford broke the record for youngest woman to fly around the world solo, which was held by Shaesta Waiz, who made her voyage in 2017 at the age of 30, according to Guinness World Records. The youngest person to make the solo trip is still Travis Ludlow, who did so last year when he was 18.

escape the aircraft from underwaterZara Rutherford spent 155 days flying around the globe and setting a record with Guinness World Records.On her way to Greenland in August, she flew just 600 feet above water to avoid low clouds and lost radio contact for several hours.

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Teen pilot Zara Rutherford becomes youngest woman to fly the world soloThe 19-year-old lands at Flanders Airport in Kortrijk, Belgium, completing an epic 41-country journey spanning over 52,000 kilometers, and broke two Guinness World Records in the process. Wow - super impressive Maybe she’s the youngest, but she’s not the first. That was Amelia Earhart years and years ago. - Lon That's awesome. The biggest thing I ever did as a teenager was a chick with low self-esteem because of high weight numbers.

Teen pilot Zara Rutherford becomes youngest woman to fly the world soloThe 19-year-old lands at Flanders Airport in Kortrijk, Belgium, completing an epic 41-country journey spanning over 52,000 kilometers, and broke two Guinness World Records in the process. Wow - super impressive Maybe she’s the youngest, but she’s not the first. That was Amelia Earhart years and years ago. - Lon That's awesome. The biggest thing I ever did as a teenager was a chick with low self-esteem because of high weight numbers.

Teen pilot one stop away from her record-breaking flight around the worldTeenage pilot Zara Rutherford landed in Germany on Wednesday on the penultimate stop of her bid to become the youngest woman to fly around the world solo.

19-year-old woman sets record for solo global flightThe 19-year-old Belgian-British pilot Zara Rutherford has set a world record as the youngest woman to fly solo around the world

19-year-old woman sets record for solo global flightZara Rutherford, a 19-year-old Belgian-British pilot, sets a world record as the youngest woman to fly solo around the world. A real woman? I'm tired of being burned with these silly gender-denominated records. Stop close contact to stop COVID spread! Download free BostApp to safely communicate with people around. Download for free at Apple & Google She Is UNIQUE 💪🛩️

19-year-old just became the youngest woman to fly solo around the worldZara Rutherford touched down in western Belgium in her one-seater plane after flying solo around the world in 155 days.

joseph.pisani@wsj.com Jan. 20, 2022 4:31 pm ET Zara Rutherford spent 155 days flying around the world, navigating rains, turbulence, wildfire smoke and other challenges before landing in Belgium Thursday, completing her quest to become the youngest woman to fly around the globe solo. With her trip, Ms. Rutherford broke the record for youngest woman to fly around the world solo, which was held by Shaesta Waiz, who made her voyage in 2017 at the age of 30, according to Guinness World Records. The youngest person to make the solo trip is still Travis Ludlow, who did so last year when he was 18. The 19-year-old, who is Belgian-British, started her trip in August from Belgium. The daughter of two pilots, Ms. Rutherford had grown up around airplanes and had thought about a solo voyage before, but put it out of her mind because she thought it would be too dangerous and too costly. Then, after finishing the European equivalent of high school, she thought: “This is the perfect opportunity to do something crazy,” she said during a press conference Thursday. She lined up sponsors, including ICDSoft, a web-hosting company based in Bulgaria. Aircraft maker Shark.Aero set her up with a small one-propeller plane and training, including how to escape the aircraft from underwater . Ms. Rutherford said the two-seat plane had a parachute for emergencies, could fly about 190 miles an hour and was designed for long trips. But there were restrictions: She couldn’t fly at night or through clouds, which made some trips tricky. Zara Rutherford spent 155 days flying around the globe and setting a record with Guinness World Records. Photo: PASCAL ROSSIGNOL/REUTERS On her way to Greenland in August, she flew just 600 feet above water to avoid low clouds and lost radio contact for several hours. “My first text to my parents after landing was ‘I’m alive,”’ she said in an Instagram . “And I think that sums up the trip so far.” Ms. Rutherford had to in September and head to Redding, Calif., after wildfire smoke made it hard to see anything beyond the peaks of mountains. She was stuck in Nome, Alaska , for a month for several reasons, including wildfires, technical issues, bad weather and an expired visa. In a post, she said she spent some of the time applying to universities. She’s still waiting for results, but plans to attend a university in September and study engineering. Weather kept her grounded at times, including heavy rains in Heraklion, Greece, and strong winds in Ayan, Russia. “I’ve been having loads of fun walking around the town and meeting new people,” Ms. Rutherford said about Ayan on Instagram . “Getting slightly tired of the snow and ice though…” She defrosted in the Caribbean, spending time at the private island of Richard Branson, the billionaire behind the Virgin brand, one of the companies sponsoring her trip. She and Mr. Branson paddle boarded, played tennis and fed the furry lemurs living on the island. The two-seat plane piloted by Zara Rutherford had a parachute for emergencies, could fly about 190 miles an hour and was designed for long trips. Photo: Kurt Desplenter/Zuma Press Flying over Siberia was a highlight for the teen. There were no trains, villages or any signs of human life, Ms. Rutherford told The Wall Street Journal Thursday. Another place that she enjoyed hovering over was Saudi Arabia. The sky was clear, she said, and she liked seeing the desert. Ms. Rutherford kept people updated on her whereabouts through her website,