Teen pilot aims to become youngest to ever fly around the world solo

A teen pilot is trying to make history by becoming the youngest person to ever fly around the world all by himself. And he’s making a quick pit stop here in the Pacific Northwest before continuing his journey.

Mack Rutherford, 17, got his pilot license at 15 and has been flying with his dad since the age of 10.

His older sister, Zara, became the youngest woman to ever fly solo around the world when she was 19 — she finished her journey back in January.

Rutherford’s trek began in Bulgaria in March. He chose to fly south through the Mediterranean Sea and has been to places like India, China, South Korea, Japan, and Alaska.

He spoke with KIRO 7 on Saturday at the Museum of Flight in Tukwila, where Seafair’s Jet Blast Festival is taking place.

He said he flies first thing Sunday morning down to San Francisco. From there he’ll go to Los Angeles, Mexico, and back up the United States to Canada.

Then he’ll make his way back across the north Atlantic back to Bulgaria where it all started.

Rutherford said besides becoming the youngest person to ever fly around the world solo, he wants to show that anyone can accomplish their goals, no matter their age.

“I want to show young people that they can make a difference,” he said. “It’s so often when we’re put into the system where we go to school, then go to high school, then go to university. And after that, you can really do what you want to do. But that’s not how it has to be. You can follow what you want to do and do it well.”

He’s hoping to finish within a month, which would be faster than his sister’s journey.

But he says there isn’t much of a sibling rivalry — if anything, he says his sister was a big motivation for him to do this.

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