On December 11 young pilot Zara Rutherford landed in Seoul, South Korea from Russia, first Asia stop on her attempt to become the youngest woman to fly around the world solo.
In August, the 19-year-old Zara took off from Kortrijk-Wevelgem Airport in western Belgium on her 51,000-km journey, which covers five continents and 52 countries, including the United States, Greenland, Russia, and Colombia.
“It has been challenging, I was stuck in Alaska because of visa and weather issues for a month and I was stuck in Russia for a month because of visa and weather issues, I was hoping to complete it by Christmas but I guess that’s not happening anymore, but it’s an adventure,” she told reporters at Gimpo International Airport after arriving from Vladivostok in her bespoke Shark ultralight plane, the world’s fastest microlight.
Aside from entering the record book, the teenager has expressed hope that her voyage will encourage girls and women to study and work in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), and spark girls’ interest in aviation.
Born to an aviators family, Zara Rutherford will start university next year for becoming an astronaut.