Zara Rutherford tries to break record for youngest pilot to fly solo around the world

She actually aims to break three world records.

December 14, 2021, 4:36 PM

Zara Rutherford, a 19-year-old Belgian-British pilot plans to break three Guinness World Records by traveling around the world alone, according to her website.

The records include: youngest woman to fly solo around the world; first woman to circumnavigate the world in a microlight -- a type of lightweight aircraft; and the first Belgian to circumnavigate the world solo in a single-engine aircraft.

Rutherford began her journey from Belgium on Aug. 18, 2021 and, according to her arrivals board, she is scheduled to return to Belgium on Jan. 13, 2022.

The original flight plan would have ended in Belgium before Christmas, but Rutherford told Reuters she was delayed in Alaska and Russia.

"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," she said. "I was hoping to complete it by Christmas but I guess that’s not happening anymore, but it’s an adventure.”

Rutherford arrived in Taipei, Taiwan on Tuesday. She travels to Mabalacat, Philippines next, according to her arrivals board.

Rutherford did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

PHOTO: Belgian-British pilot Zara Rutherford, poses for pictures before departing for a round-the-world trip in a light aircraft, aiming to become the youngest female pilot to circle the planet alone, in Wevelgem, Belgium, Aug. 18, 2021.
Belgian-British pilot Zara Rutherford, poses for pictures before departing for a round-the-world trip in a light aircraft, aiming to become the youngest female pilot to circle the planet alone, in Wevelgem, Belgium, Aug. 18, 2021.
Yves Herman/Reuters, FILE

If she completes her 32,000-mile journey (51,000 km), the young pilot will have traveled to 52 countries and five continents, according to her website.

Rutherford is flying a Shark Aero, a high-performance, two-seat ultralight aircraft manufactured in Europe, especially prepared for a long journey, according to her website. The plane can reach a cruising speed of 186.4 miles per hour.

The cost of the trip is being picked up by sponsors and airports and Shark Aero, a Slovakian company provided her with the aircraft, the New York Times reported.

The current record-holder for the youngest woman to fly solo around the world is Shaesta Waez, who completed her trip in 2017, at the age of 30, according to Guinness.

The youngest teenager to fly around the world did so this year at the age of 18, according to Guinness World Records. UK native Travis Ludlow started his 44-day trip on May 29, 2021, after the COVID-19 pandemic delayed his original June 2020 start date.

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