World record hunt: 19-year-old flying around the world solo

International

LONDON — A 19-year-old is on a high-flying adventure to break a world record. But flying into the history books is just one part of her mission.

Zara Rutherford’s dream has taken off.

She is on her way to becoming the youngest woman to fly around the world solo. And it doesn’t stop there.

“When you think of a pilot, you don’t really think of a woman, you think more of a man,” Rutherford said. “And I’m trying to change that a little bit. I’m trying to get girls to be interested in flying and aviation.”

After taking off from Belgium on Wednesday, she’s currently soaring across Greenland.

You could almost say she was born to fly.

“My entire family are pilots. My dad is a pilot, my mum is a pilot, even my little brother’s a pilot. So, it’s really in the family,” Rutherford said.

Her journey will cover five continents and 52 countries in just a few months.

All the while, her nervous but supportive parents will track her progress.

“I’m very aware of the risks, but I think she needs to fly away. It’s her dream, and she needs to live it,” said her mother, Beatrice de Smet.

It’s not just about landing in the history books. It’s about leveling the airfield.

“People will always say, oh, ‘youngest female,’ not ‘youngest person.’ So to have that record is, you know, to show that actually, you know, women can beat men,” Zara said.

And to show girls everywhere … when it comes to their dreams, the sky is the limit.

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