INTERNATIONAL: They say age is just a number and 19-year-old pilot Zara Rutherford certainly believes that. She’s bidding to become the youngest woman to fly solo around the world. She took from an airfield in western Belgium on Wednesday.
The very brave young woman sat down with reporters before the start of her 51,000 km journey. The 19-year-old says this trip isn’t just about her:
“It's a dream I've had my entire life, to fly a plane around the World, it was just a crazy idea and I always thought it would impossible. But then I decided if I didn't tell anyone about it, then it's never going to happen. So I told my parents and straight away, they are like 'yes, let's do this'. And with the media attention that I've been getting, I'm hoping to encourage girls and women to hopefully also go into aviation and STEM, so Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.”
It was then a final pre-flight check in her tiny plane, before it was time for take-off. Rutherford is seeking to take the title from Shaesta Wais, who became the youngest woman to fly solo round the world at the age of 30. The youngest male record holder is Mason Andrews, who was just 18 when he made the journey. Rutherford will fly for about five hours a day and make a scheduled 52 stops on a journey that will take about three months. As if this wasn’t enough, she wants to start university next year, with the dream of becoming an astronaut.