FORT LAUDERDALE-HOLLYWOOD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) - A European teenager is taking flight to reach an inspiring goal: to be the youngest woman to fly around the world.
Zara Rutherford’s journey brought her to South Florida, Monday.
The 19-year-old landed at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
The Belgian-British teen is on an inspiring mission to become the youngest woman to fly around the world solo.
“Hoping to encourage girls to get into STEM, so science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and aviation,” she said. “This is something that, growing up, I didn’t see many women do, and so that was always quite discouraging for me, so I’m hoping to change that.”
Rutherford’s journey is expected to take three months.
She took off from her home nation of Belgium back on Aug. 11.
Rutherford is expected to travel to 52 countries before returning home.
“I have been to, well, Belgium, I traveled through the U.K., Iceland, Greenland, Canada and then the U.S.,” she said. “Now I’m here in Miami.”
Rutherford is the daughter of two pilots.
She’s completing the journey in a Shark Ultralight, the world’s fastest light-sport aircraft. The teen is flying about five hours a day.
Despite the historic significance of the flight, Rutherford said, “It definitely does get quite lonely, just because you realize that it’s just you. There’s nobody to contact. It really is just you.”
What’s next for Rutherford?
“After this, I’m heading down south to South America, Colombia, and back up north through the West Coast to Alaska, Russia and then into Asia,” she said.
She isn’t expected to return home until November.
For Guinness World Records to consider the trip as one around the world, Rutherford has to cross points on opposite sides of the globe.
Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.