Muscat : Mack Rutherfield, 16, who is aiming to become the youngest solo pilot to circumnavigate the globe, landed in Muscat on Wednesday, saying he wants to encourage young people that there is nothing impossible that they cannot achieve if they set their mind to.
Rutherford, who has British and Belgian nationality, started his journey near the Bulgarian capital Sofia on March 23 and is looking to clinch a Guinness World record currently held by compatriot Travis Ludlow, who was 18 when he completed a circumnavigation last year.
“I want to inspire young people so they can follow their dreams at any age instead of waiting until they are 18 to do something. Nothing is impossible and the age barrier should not be a problem if you set your mind to do something you really want to do,” Rutherford said at the press conference in Muscat on Wednesday.
He is flying in a two-seater single prop ultralight aircraft manufactured by Shark Aero.
Before arriving in Muscat, Rutherford's flew to four African and Indian Ocean countries, before heading to the Middle East. Prior to his landing in Muscat, he was at the Socotra island near Yemen.
Before returning to Europe, he would fly to Asian countries including India, China, Japan, Afghanistan and Pakistan then proceed to North America and finally returning to Europe.
“ I also want to better my sister who flew on a similar mission a while ago at the age of 19. I also want to do something special in aviation by flying around the world, too, like her” Rutherford said.
His sister Zara created history by becoming the youngest woman to fly around the world solo in January this year in a five-month flying ordeal.
Rutherford qualified for his flying license in July 2020 at the age of 15, to become the youngest pilot in the world. His parents are also pilots who helped Rutherford take the controls of an aircraft when he was just the age of seven.
He has so far covered 12 countries and his expected to arrive in the United Arab Emirates on Thursday.