Sixteen-year-old Mack Rutherford's journey to become the youngest solo pilot to circumnavigate the globe stopped off in Muscat on Wednesday — with the ambitious teenager saying he wanted to show young people that nothing is impossible.
Mack, who has British and Belgian citizenship, started his journey near the Bulgarian capital Sofia on March 23 and is hoping his adventure secures a Guinness World Record.
“I want to inspire young people so they can follow their dreams at any age, instead of waiting until they are 18 to do something,” Mack said at a press conference in Oman's capital on Wednesday.
"Nothing is impossible and the age barrier should not be a problem if you set your mind to do something you really want to do."
Mack is flying in a two-seater single-prop ultralight aircraft manufactured by Shark Aero.
Before arriving in Muscat, he flew to four African and Indian Ocean countries, before heading to the Middle East. Before his landing in Muscat, he was at Socotra, an island near Yemen.
Before returning to Europe, he will fly to Asian countries including India, China, Japan, Afghanistan and Pakistan then proceed to North America and finally return to Europe.
The record Mack is aiming for is held by British compatriot Travis Ludlow, who was 18 when he completed a circumnavigation last year.
“I also want to better my sister, who flew on a similar mission a while ago at the age of 19. I also want to do something special in aviation by flying around the world, too, like her,” said Mack.
His sister Zara in January created history by becoming the youngest woman to fly around the world solo after a journey that took five months.
Mack earned his flying licence in July 2020 at the age of 15, to become the youngest pilot in the world. His parents are also pilots and helped him take the controls of an aircraft when he was just seven.
He has so far visited 12 countries and is expected to arrive in the UAE on Thursday.