A successful achievement for a young Belgian pilot aged 19
Zara Rutherford, a 19 year old Belgian-British woman, has just broken the record for the youngest woman to have flown solo around the world in an ultralight aircraft.
The young pilot left Kortrijk-Wevelgem airport last August and has just landed back at the airport after a 155-day journey. She has travelled 52,000 km, over five continents and more than forty countries in several stages. Initially, the trip was supposed to last three months, but that was without counting the vagaries of the weather and other pitfalls. Several quarantines due to the pandemic, visa problems on entering Russia and forest fires in California extended the trip by a few months which nevertheless remains an achievement. Her determination enabled her to continue her journey and become a legend.
Her Shark Ultralight aircraft is considered the fastest ultralight aircraft (325 kg) with a cruising speed of 300 km/h. It was equipped with an additional fuel tank in place of the passenger seat for the adventure.
The young Zara also took advantage of the media coverage of her achievement to encourage young girls to study science. She dreams of one day reaching for the stars and becoming an astronaut.