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Anglo-Belgian hopes to become the youngest woman ever to fly around the world

19-year-old Zara Rutherford hopes to become the youngest woman ever to fly around the world single-handed. The Belgian-British duel national hopes to smash the current record set by the then 30-year-old American Shaestra Wai.

Zara Rutherford has an English father and a Belgian mother. Her father is a former RAF pilot that was stationed here in Belgium. It is thanks to him that Zara acquired a passion for flying.  At the age of just 14 she started training to get her pilot’s licence. 

The 19-year-old will officially announce her record attempt with a demonstration flight at Popham Airfield, near Winchester, in the English country of Hampshire.

If she is successful Zara Rutherford will fly over 52 countries and fly some 27,685 nautical miles (more than 51,000 kilometres). What’s more she will enter the Guinness Book of Records as the youngest women ever to circle the globe single-handed in a light aircraft. 

Zara hopes that her record attempt will encourage more girls and young women to become interested in aviation. She will make her record attempt in a Shark ultralight, a plane that can reach speeds of around 300 km/h. The plane’s passenger seat has been removed to accommodate an extra fuel tank. 

Currently the youngest male ever to have flown around the world single-handed is 18-year-old Mason Andrews. 

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