Teenage pilot to land in Dubai during round-world flight record attempt

Mack Rutherford aims to set a world record after his sister Zara became the youngest woman to fly around world solo in a small plane

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A teenage pilot is set to land in Dubai during his world-record attempt to become the youngest person to fly around the globe solo in a small plane.

Mack Rutherford, a 16-year-old British-Belgian pilot, received his pilot's licence in 2020, making him the youngest pilot in the world at age 15.

On March 23, he took off from Bulgaria to begin his journey around the world in an ultralight plane, weighing only 325 kilograms and flying at speeds of 299 kilometres per hour.

So far, he has flown to South Africa, Congo, Madagascar, Mauritius, Italy, Greece, Sudan and Kenya. He will fly over Oman next and then make a brief stop in the UAE.

He is due to land, weather permitting, at Dubai International Airport at 10am on Thursday, June 2.

Mack was born into a family of aviators and has been inspired by them. His father Sam is a professional ferry pilot, while his mother Beatrice and sister Zara are private pilots.

In January 2022, Zara became the youngest woman to circumnavigate the globe solo.

The 19-year-old returned to the Belgian town of Kortrijk on January 21, a little more than five months after she set off on August 18, 2021.

Now Mack wants to add to his family’s achievements, and also meet and inspire people during his journey.

According to the Guinness World Records, the youngest person (in both male and female categories) to circumnavigate by aircraft, solo, is Travis Ludlow.

He was 18 when he completed his solo flight in 2021 to earn the record.

“There are many people of my age who do amazing things. Often few people know about them,” Mack said.

“I am really looking forward to meeting some of them. Together we can show that young people make a difference.”

After the UAE, he will head east to Kazakhstan and across Russia. He will then cross the Bering Strait into Alaska and continue along the west coast of America to Mexico.

Mack will then head north again along the east coast to Canada, before crossing the Atlantic and stopping in Iceland and the UK. His epic journey is due to finish in Bulgaria's capital Sofia.

Mack's mission can be tracked online on his website.

Updated: May 24, 2022, 3:00 AM
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