Teenage pilot starts around-the-world flight from Bulgaria

SOFIA, Bulgaria — Like brother, like sister.

A Belgian-British teenage pilot hopes to hitch his sister within the file books after beginning his try to develop into the youngest individual to fly all over the world solo in a small airplane on Wednesday.

With his mother and father trying on, 16-year-old Mack Rutherford took off from an airstrip west of Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, in windy however clear situations. If profitable, he would displace Travis Ludlow of Britain who was 18 when he set the file in 2021.

Only two months in the past, his 19-year-old sister, Zara Rutherford, set the world file for the youngest lady to fly solo all over the world when she touched down in Kortrijk, Belgium, on Jan. 20.

Born right into a household of aviators, Mack Rutherford has flown tons of of hours together with his dad, Sam, who’s knowledgeable ferry pilot. His mom Beatrice is a non-public pilot.

Rutherford was the youngest pilot in the world when he qualified for his license at age 15 in 2020.
Rutherford was the youngest pilot on the earth when he certified for his license at age 15 in 2020.

Rutherford’s dream to develop into a pilot got here true in 2020, when he certified for his license, which on the time, made him the youngest pilot on the earth on the age of 15.

Now, his lonely journey that may take him to 52 nations on 5 continents. To conform with Guinness World Records necessities, the route will cross the equator twice.

Rutherford’s journey kicked off in Bulgaria, as a result of his sponsor, the internet hosting company ICDSoft, is headquartered in Sofia and it additionally loaned him the airplane.

The first cease might be in Italy. From there he’ll fly south to Africa, then he’ll head north to India, China, South Korea and Japan. He will go on to Alaska and proceed alongside the U.S. West Coast to Mexico. Then he’ll head north once more alongside the East Coast to Canada, cross the Atlantic, cease in Iceland, the U.Okay. and end his journey in Sofia after three to 5 months relying on the climate situations.

Because of Russia’s conflict in Ukraine and for Rutherford’s security, his flight has been rerouted in order that he gained’t must fly over Russian territory.

Just like his sister, he might be flying a Shark, one of many quickest ultralight plane on the earth with a cruising pace reaching 300 kph (186 mph), which has been specifically ready for such a protracted journey. It’s usually a two-seater, however an additional gasoline tank now takes up considered one of them.

Rutherford, who’s looking for a steadiness between schoolwork and his record-seeking flight, mentioned he most well-liked to make this journey this year, as a result of “I will be quite busy with lot of exams next term.”

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