A teenage pilot from Britain, who was about to take off in a small plane to fly solo in south Belgium, touched down.
Mack Rutherford, who turned 17 during the journey, touched down at Buzet Airstrip near the city of Charleroi, where he originally learned to fly. He’s due to land in Bulgaria on Wednesday. His aim: to displace Travis Ludlow of Britain, who was 18 when he set the record in 2021.
Rutherford is currently flying the Shark ultralight aircraft. It can cruise at 300 km/h (186 MPH). The aircraft has been designed to be used for long distances.
This is the same aircraft Zara Rutherford (19 years old) used for setting the world record as the youngest female solo pilot.
Mack traveled solo through 52 countries and five continents. To comply with Guinness World Records, the route crossed twice as far as the Equator.
He said that while it was expected that the process would take two to three months, it has now taken five months. The delay was due to administrative formalities in Dubai, Crete, including permits and visas.
He flew through Africa, and the Gulf, where he was subject to extreme heat. He continued north along America’s East Coast, Canada, and across the Atlantic via Iceland, to reach the U.K.
If everything goes according to plan and the weather allows, he will fly east via Europe via Slovakia, landing in Sofia on Wednesday.
Sam Rutherford is a proud father who said his children have set a shining example.
He said, “They have got around the world safely, effectively, professionally. And they’ve shown to other youngsters that you don’t have to be 18 even, and certainly not 30, to make a difference and do something and follow your dreams”.