Attempt at a Record and the Bulgarian Trace Behind it: Teenager Flies Around the World

Society » CULTURE | August 18, 2021, Wednesday // 16:33
Bulgaria: Attempt at a Record and the Bulgarian Trace Behind it: Teenager Flies Around the World Reuters

"One of my biggest dreams (along with flying around the world) is to become an astronaut."

Said 19-year-old Zara Rutherford, who embarked on an impressive adventure on Wednesday afternoon. The teenager flew from an airport in western Belgium for her solo trip around the world. It aims to cross 52 countries on five continents in the next two months or so.

If she succeeds, she will become the youngest woman to fly around the world on her own. For this purpose, her route crosses the Equator twice - over Colombia and Indonesia (a mandatory requirement for a Guinness World Record to be recognized).

The seven-meter ultralight Shark aircraft has the flags of Great Britain and Belgium because Rutherford has dual citizenship. However, the Bulgarian flag is also there, as the main sponsor of the challenge is the Bulgarian technology company ICDSoft.

"We fully understand and support the passion of a young woman with a wonderful cause - gender equality, who also wants to encourage young people to take up air sports. Come on, Zara," said the Bulgarian company.

Along with the record, the teenager has set a goal to inspire more girls and women to focus on science and aviation.

The childhood dream

"It's a dream I've had for a long time, but it always seemed unrealistic. When I decided to take a year off before I started university, I realized I had all this time and I could do something crazy with it," said Rutherford.

Flying is in her blood because her parents are pilots. "It was hard for me to accept at first, but now I fully support her," said her mother, Beatrice de Sme.

Rutherford started flying lessons when she was 14 but officially received a license last year. That is why, according to documents, her flight hours are about a hundred.

The teenager says she relies on quality over quantity. "I've already seen part of the route, so I know what to expect."

In her attempt at a record, she will fly only during the day and in good visibility, avoiding major airports. For the entire trip around the world, she will need as much fuel as a Boeing 747 costs in ten minutes. She plans to meet with students and young people at every place, hoping to show the girls that "they can really achieve anything they want."

According to the International Society of Women, a total of 5.1% of the world's pilots are female. "That's very little, considering we're talking about a career where you get paid to travel the world. Yes, it's still a job, but it's amazing and brings incredible opportunities."

Rutherford believes her sponsors, including Virgin and Holly Branson (daughter of Richard Branson), will also help spread the word. /Dnevnik

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