Zara Rutherford always dreamed from flying solo all over the world, but she never thought it would actually happen. It was “expensive, dangerous, complicated, a logistical nightmare,” Rutherford said she told herself. However, as she was finishing school, she decided to do something crazy: try to make her dream come true. She did it.
Rutherford, a 19-year-old Belgian-British teenager, became the youngest woman to make a solo flight around the world on Thursday. The journey ended in an ultralight Shark aircraft, an aircraft that can reach speeds of up to 186 miles per hour (300 kilometers per hour). She flew over on her five-month journey 52 countries and five continents, noting approximately 32,000 miles (51,000 kilometers).
Rutherford was greeted with applause and applause when she landed on the runway at Kortrijk-Wevelgem Airport in Belgium.
“It’s really crazy. I didn’t really process it, “she said on Thursday Reuters.
Rutherford broke the previous record he held Afghan-American Shaesta Waiz, the first certified pilot from Afghanistan to travel when she was 30 in 2017. The Belgian-British teenager is only a year older than Mason Andrews, the youngest male solo flight record holder. Andrews, also an American, finished his flight when he was 18 in 2018.
Waiz congratulated Rutherford on her flight on Instagram and shared their shared photo.
“Bravo !!! I can’t wait to connect with you soon to share my joy and excitement with you,” Waiz said. “I also can’t wait to hear your stories and strength along the way. You’ve inspired so many people, especially me!”
During her months of travel, Rutherford has experienced things that most of us only see on TV or read in books. As he said Guard, flew through low temperatures in Greenland, Alaska and Russia; desert fog in Saudi Arabia; thunder at the equator; and smog in India, to name a few.
During some In moments, Rutherford felt her life might be in danger. One of the scariest experiences on her trip, she said, was when she flew to South Korea in bad weather as she tried to stay out of Chinese and North Korean airspace.
“They tested missiles without warning,” said Rutherford North Korea. “If they see a small flash or spacecraft on their screen that’s pretty low in the direction of their country, it’s very possible that they would send someone to look.”
She was not interested in it and fortunately she managed to avoid trouble.
Now that she has returned to Belgium, Rutherford plans to study electrical engineering after starting university. She hopes her flight will encourage more girls to study science and engineering and give them a role model that resembles them.
“Boys learn through toys, street names, history lessons and movies that they can be scientists, astronauts, CEOs or presidents,” Rutherford wrote. her website. “Girls are often encouraged to be beautiful, kind, helpful and sweet. With my flight, I want to show young women that they can be brave, ambitious and make their dreams come true. ”
She had one more big dream left on her list: to become an astronaut. With that determination, I bet it will work out.