CNN

Teenage pilot becomes youngest person to fly solo around the globe

Aug 27, 2022, 8:51 AM
Mack Rutherford, a 17-year-old British-Belgian pilot waves after he landed in Sofia-West ariport, W...
Mack Rutherford, a 17-year-old British-Belgian pilot waves after he landed in Sofia-West ariport, Wednesday Aug. 24, 2022. Rutherford has become the youngest person to fly solo around the world in a small aircraft after he landed in Bulgaria, the country where his journey kicked off five months ago. Rutherford landed on an airstrip west of Bulgarian capital Sofia on Wednesday to complete his task and to claim two Guinness World Records. (AP Photo/ Jordan Simeonov)
(AP Photo/ Jordan Simeonov)

(CNN) — A 17-year-old has become the youngest person to fly around the world solo in a small aircraft on Wednesday after first taking off on March 23, according to Guinness World Records (GWR).

British-Belgian national Mack Rutherford touched down earlier in the day in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, where his journey began, according to Rutherford’s official website and GWR. He first set off when he was still 16.

Rutherford’s route spanned 52 countries across five continents on a specially prepared ultralight Shark aircraft with cruising speed reaching 300 km/h, according to his website.

“I want to use the opportunity to meet young people on my route who do incredible things, making a difference to their communities or even to the world,” he wrote before jetting off.

His journey was tracked on his website, which shows he set off from Bulgaria towards the Mediterranean then through the Sahara, onwards through the Middle East and then East Asia.

He smashed two world records, previously held by his older sister Zara Rutherford, as the youngest person to fly around the world solo and also the youngest person to do so in a microlight aircraft, the GWR website states.

He entered his last leg through the United States, Canada and Mexico before flying back through Europe and landing in Sofia.

Inspired to fly by his family, the teenager was just 15 years old when he received his first pilot’s license, becoming the youngest pilot in the world.

“When I was 15, I got my license and was the youngest in the world at that point. And then when my sister flew around the world, I thought, well, there’s something I can actually try to strive for and achieve,” he told CNN earlier in August.

His journey even took him to a remote island in the North Pacific, after strong headwinds forced him to land during a flight from Japan to the United States.

“I had a few Oreos for supper and then went to bed in a small shed — but that was definitely an amazing experience,” he told CNN.

Today’s Top Stories

CNN

A service member of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic walks past a banner on the doors ...
Anna Chernova, Joshua Berlinger and Rob Picheta, CNN

Putin to host ceremony annexing occupied Ukrainian territories on Friday, Kremlin says

Some of the separatist leaders involved in carrying out sham referendums to secede from Ukraine and join Russia landed in Moscow Thursday, according to a photograph posted by the Russia-appointed deputy head of the Kherson regional military administration Kirill Stremousov.
22 hours ago
Coolio, the '90s rapper who lit up the music charts with hits like "Gangsta's Paradise" and "Fantas...
Sandra Gonzalez, CNN

Coolio, ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ rapper, dead at 59

(CNN) — Coolio, the ’90s rapper who lit up the music charts with hits like “Gangsta’s Paradise” and “Fantastic Voyage,” has died, his friend and manager Jarez Posey, told CNN. He was 59. Posey said Coolio died in the afternoon hours local time in Los Angles on Wednesday. Details on the circumstances were not immediately […]
22 hours ago
Hurricane Ian flooding in Naples, Florida....
Amir Vera, Eric Levenson, Jason Hanna and Nouran Salahieh, CNN

Hurricane Ian weakens to Category 3 after making landfall in Florida, but officials warn the worst is yet to come

Hurricane Ian has weakened to a Category 3 storm hours after pummeling southwestern Florida Wednesday, but officials are warning people to stay inside as the worst of the storm is still on the way.
2 days ago
Hurricane Ian Satellite image (CNN)...
Elizabeth Weiler

Hurricane Ian’s ‘extremely dangerous’ eyewall near Category 5 strength is moving ashore in southwestern Florida

DeSantis activated 5,000 Florida National Guard members for Ian's response operations, and 2,000 more guardsmen from Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina were being activated to assist.
2 days ago
(AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)...
Jennifer Hansler, CNN

US Embassy warns Americans to leave Russia

 (CNN) — The U.S. Embassy in Moscow issued a security alert overnight that urged U.S. citizens to leave Russia immediately while there are still options for departing the country. The alert comes in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s order for partial mobilization of Russian men to fight in his war in Ukraine. “Russia […]
2 days ago
An illustration shows NASA's DART spacecraft and the Italian Space Agency's LICIACube before the co...
Ashley Strickland, CNN

NASA’s DART mission successfully slams into an asteroid

Deemed as a success, a NASA spacecraft intentionally slammed into an asteroid in the first attempt of planetary defense.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Teenage pilot becomes youngest person to fly solo around the globe