Pilot Attempting Around-the-World Flight Crosses Atlantic

Rutherford stopped in Reykjavík, Iceland, one of the first airports on her way around the world, in hopes of visiting 52 countries along the way. Icelandair/Courtesy FlyZolo

Zara Rutherford wants to be the youngest woman to fly around the world solo, as FlyZolo. She has completed the Atlantic crossing, the first major hurdle along the way.

The 19-year-old Belgian pilot is flying a Shark Ultralight single-engine airplane approved in the rough European equivalent of the light sport category, with a maximum takeoff weight of 600 kg, retractable gear and a variable-pitch propeller. The Shark has been used to set speed records in the category, in France.

Shaesta Waiz was 30 years old when she set the current around-the-world record for youngest woman pilot in 2017.

Rutherford comes from a family of pilots, and she had more than 130 solo hours logged prior to departing on the flight.

She departed from Kulusuk, Greenland (BGKK), Rutherford and aimed for Narsarsuaq (BGBW), then onto Canada, arriving in Goose Bay, Labrador (CYYR), on Monday after 8.5 hours of flying time. After a rest day Tuesday, she will continue on to Montreal, Quebec (CYHU).

Her planned route takes her through several stops in the U.S., including:

  • New York (KJFK)
  • First Flight Airport in North Carolina (KFFA)
  • Jacksonville, Florida (KJAX)
  • Ft. Lauderdale, Florida (KFLL)

From there, she heads south through the Caribbean and Mexico before looping back into Arizona and California. Rutherford will cross over to Asia via the Bering Strait, from Alaska to Russia.

Follow her journey on the FlyZolo site or on Facebook

Based in Maryland, Julie is an editor, aviation educator, and author. She holds an airline transport pilot certificate with Douglas DC-3 and CE510 (Citation Mustang) type ratings. She's a CFI/CFII since 1993, specializing in advanced aircraft and flight instructor development. Follow Julie on Twitter @julieinthesky.

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