17-year-old pilot became the youngest person to fly solo around the world in a small aircraft after he landed on Wednesday in Bulgaria, where his journey kicked off five months ago.
Mack Rutherford, a Belgian-British dual national, landed on an airstrip west of Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, to complete his task and to claim two Guinness World Records. Along with becoming the youngest person to fly around the world by himself, Rutherford is the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe in a microlight plane.
Rutherford said he hoped his achievement would inspire young people to pursue their dreams.
“Just follow your dreams, no matter how old you are — work hard and move forward to achieve your goals,” he said after he stepped out of the aircraft.
His sister, Zara, who finished her own trip global flight in January at age 19, previously held the ultralight record. Mack Rutherford took the age record from Travis Ludlow of Britain, who was 18 when he made a solo flight around the world last year.
The journey, which began March 23, took Rutherford through 52 countries over five continents. He turned 17 during the trip. To set a mark recognized by the Guinness World Records, he crossed the equator twice.
Born into a family of aviators, Rutherford qualified for his pilot’s license in 2020, which at the time, made him the youngest pilot in the world at the age of 15