At the age of 17 years 64 days, Mack Rutherford (UK) has become the youngest person to fly around the world alone! ✈️
Not only did he do it alone, he did it in a tiny aircraft known as a 'microlight'.
Mack earned four Guinness World Records titles in the process:
- Youngest person to circumnavigate the world by aircraft solo
- Youngest person to circumnavigate the world by aircraft solo (male)
- Youngest person to circumnavigate the world by microlight solo
- Youngest person to circumnavigate the world by microlight solo (male)
Mack's journey around the world lasted five months and he flew across 52 countries in total. 🌍
“I believe young people can make a difference." - Mack Rutherford
Mack’s record-breaking flight began in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, on 23 March 2022.
He was 16 years old when he took off and celebrated his 17th birthday by himself in his plane. 🥳️
Mack faced many challenges during his adventure.
He could only travel during the daytime because it was too dark at night. Also, because of his small-sized aircraft, he had to land whenever the weather got too rough.
However, at some points he literally couldn’t land, such as when flying non-stop for 10 hours over an ocean. Mack battled very strong winds and rain during this section of his flight, but he managed to expertly pilot his plane to safety. ✈️
At other points, he faced extremely hot weather, such as in Dubai. In Sudan, a country in Africa, Mack also faced sandstorms which made it hard for him to see where he was going.
Mack also had to spend one night on a remote, uninhabited island! 🌴
Even though he faced many problems, Mack never stopped smiling, joking and updating his followers on Instagram along the way. 😄
The record for the youngest person to circumnavigate the world by aircraft solo was previously held by Travis Ludlow, who was 18 years 150 days old when he achieved it in 2021.
And if Mack’s surname "Rutherford" sounds familiar, it’s because his big sister Zara also flew around the world earlier this year!
Travis broke Zara's record to become the overall youngest person to circumnavigate the world solo by microlight, however, Zara still holds the female versions of both records:
- Youngest person to circumnavigate the world by aircraft solo (female)
- Youngest person to circumnavigate the world solo by microlight (female)
The Rutherford siblings were inspired by their parents to become pilots. 👨✈️👩✈️
"I have known for certain I wanted to fly since I was eleven," Mack said.
“My dad Sam is a professional ferry pilot, my mum Beatrice is a recreational private pilot.”
Mack hopes to inspire all young people to begin working towards their own goals.
"No matter what background you have, I believe it is never too early to work towards your dreams and you shouldn’t limit yourself by others’ expectations."
With both feet firmly back on the ground now, it’s time for Mack to turn his attention towards catching up on his schoolwork!