On Wednesday, a 16-year-old student who is attempting to become the youngest person to fly solo around the world landed his little plane in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital.
Mack Rutherford, who is British and Belgian, began his voyage near Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, in March and is attempting to break the Guinness World Record held by compatriot Travis Ludlow, who completed a circumnavigation last year at the age of 18.
Rutherford remarked after clambering out of his two-seater single prop ultralight aircraft at Wilson Airport, ‘I’m aiming to inspire young people to follow their goals.’
Shark Aero, the plane’s builder, judged the flight too dangerous and declined to collaborate with Rutherford’s idea.
‘Mack is an accomplished pilot. However, on journeys where a certain level of risk cannot be avoided, we do not feel comfortable lowering the age limit to the lowest possible level,’ according to the company’s website.
Rutherford will travel to four additional African and Indian Ocean countries before heading to the Middle East, Asia, and North America, and then back to Europe.
Rutherford grew up in a family of pilots, and at the age of seven, he assumed the controls of an aeroplane alongside his father.
He became the world’s youngest pilot at the age of 15 and is now following in the footsteps of his older sister Zara, the world’s youngest lady pilot at the age of 19.
He stated visibility was difficult while flying across the Sahara desert, but the scenery more than compensated.
‘It hasn’t disappointed me; I’ve loved the scenery both in the Sahara desert and in Kenya,’ he remarked.