SEOUL, Dec 12 (Asia Free Press): In her solo flying tour around the world, teenage pilot Zara Rutherford landed on her first Asian stop at Gimpo International airport, Seoul. She started this part of her journey from Vladivostok, Russia and landed at GIA on Saturday 11th December 2021.
This 32000-miles / 51000-km journey that spans over five continents and 52 countries, including the US, Greenland, Russia and Columbia, started in August when this British-Belgian teenager, who is only 19 years old, departed from Kortrijk-Wevelgem Airport (Belgium) in the world’s fastest microlight Shark Ultralight plane that has been custom made for her.
While talking to the reporters at GIA, Rutherford said, “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 said.
Due to the Covid-19 aftermath and travel restrictions, she at times is not allowed to visit local places, museums and restaurants in some countries, but she responded to this by saying that “ I am seeing these places from the air and that is the most incredible thing.”
Rutherford, who is born to two pilots, wants to be an astronaut and is hopeful that her journey would not only empower girls and women by building their interest in the field of aviation but would encourage them to work and study in the fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Shaesta Wais, is a solo flight record holder around the world who earned the title Rutherford seeks; at the age of 30 in 2017. She is restricted to staying at a hotel before leaving for her second Asian stop i.e. Taiwan on Monday. She is expected to complete her journey by mid-January.