19-year-old Zara Rutherford has made a grab bag of records after completing a 32,000 mile (52,000km) circumnavigation of the Earth.
Landing at Kortrijk-Wevelgem Airport in western Belgium on Thursday, she became the youngest woman, and first Belgian to fly solo around the world—as well as the first person ever to do it in an ultralight aircraft. It took her 155 days.
The previous youngest-ever woman to accomplish the celebrated feat of aviation was American Shaesta Waiz, who also founded a non-profit called Dreams Soar which Rutherford was supporting on her long journey. A funny twist of fate saw the two globe trekkers united on a stopover.
Rutherford made the 41-country crossing to inspire more women and girls into entering other STEM fields, but obviously and particularly aviation. Remarking on how only 5.1% of pilots are women, she described the occupation to CNN last year as “a career where you basically get paid to travel around the world.”
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