Mack Rutherford currently holds the record for being the youngest person to fly solo around the world after breaking Travis Ludlow’s previous record that had stood for a year. A Shark high-performance, ultra-light aircraft with a top speed of 300 km/h was impressively flown by Rutherford for 154 days.

Mack Rutherford standing next to his sister
Mack Rutherford with his sister Zara Rutherford who also holds a record for being the youngest woman pilot © AP

Youngest person to fly around the world

Mack Rutherford joins his sister Zara Rutherford, who earlier this year became the youngest woman to travel the world alone, to add to his family’s list of record-breaking accomplishments. Mack celebrated his 17th birthday alone in the clouds on his solitary journey, which began in Sofia, Bulgaria, in March 2022 and ended on August 24th at the same airport.

According to North West Star, his sister Zara Rutherford showed great support and encouragement to her younger brother and said that:

“While he was flying, I constantly tried to keep in touch and help him. Our parents called him every day, and I joined in those conversations. I gave him advice on the route, on the flight, so that I could be useful to him,” 

Zara Rutherford similarly took on an impressive solo travelling trip that was 5 months long and began in Kortrijk, Belgium, on 18 August 2021, and ended on 20 January 2022. In each of their difficult journeys that have changed aviation history, the siblings have displayed remarkable passion and love for flying.

Mack Rutherford shows that Dreams have no Age Restrictions 

According to Aerotime,  Rutherford  said in an interview streamed by sponsor ICDSoft after landing:

“I’m very happy to be here after five long months, but an extremely fun and cool five months,” “It took a bit longer than I had hoped for, but it was a very exciting and interesting trip, and I don’t regret going on it.”  

The Belgian-British pilot went on to advise any big dreamer to: 

“Just follow your dreams,” he urged. “There were many points in my journey where it would have been easy to give up… but I kept going. Basically, just work hard and push forward with your dreams, no matter how old you are.”  

Rutherford showed great mental endurance throughout his trip despite facing multiple delays involving issues with visas and permits that extended his flight to almost twice the expected length of 3 months. His journey took him through Africa, the Gulf region, India, China and many more. While solo travelling above these beautiful places he faced a number of obstacles such as sandstorms, heavy rain and extreme periods of heat.

According to Nine News Proud father Sam Rutherford 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,” he told AP.

History is being made in aviation with Rutherford’s becoming the youngest pilot and recently Zoya Agarwal, the first Indian woman pilot to be awarded a spot in US Aviation Museum. Alongside these, the first all-black female cabin crew supported an American Airlines flight.  These incredible milestones have and will continue to inspire everyone of all ages to not give up on their dreams and that with motivation and hard work the sky’s the limit.

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