Teen pilot becomes youngest woman to fly around the world

A 19-year-old pilot has completed her 155-day solo trip around the globe, becoming the youngest woman in history to circumnavigate the Earth.

Zara Rutherford, who has dual British and Belgian nationality, landed at Kortrijk-Wevelgem airport in western Belgium on Thursday. According to the BBC, his final descent was escorted by four planes from the Belgian Red Devils aerobatic team.

Rutherford’s trip took about two months longer than she had hoped. According to the BBC, she spent about a month in Nome, Alaska, and another 41 days in Russia.

CNN reports that she was also forced to make an unscheduled landing in California due to poor visibility from the Seattle-area wildfires and was denied permission to fly over China.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic kept her from sightseeing on the land for much of her trip, Rutherford is proud of her accomplishment.

“I can’t wait to tell people about my experiences and encourage people to do something crazy with your life,” she said, according to the BBC.

According to the Associated Press, Rutherford broke the record set by 30-year-old American aviator Shaesta Waiz in 2017. Rutherford is about a year older than Travis Ludlow, the 18-year-old British pilot who last set the overall record. year.

Rutherford told reporters she hopes her mission will broaden the visibility of women in aviation.

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