Teen solo pilot gets an assist from KLM during around-the-world flight
Zara Rutherford, the youngest woman to fly solo around the world, arrived in South Korea on Saturday. Along the way, the 19-year-old received help from a "merciful" KLM pilot over the Sea of Japan, who ensured that she could contact air traffic control after she was unable to establish connection with her radio.
The pilot of flight KLM 868 forwarded her messages to the air traffic controllers and helped her find the correct frequencies. The pilot was extremely friendly and helpful," Rutherford said on her Facebook page. The Flemish-British teenager said she wanted to find out who the pilot was to send him a personal message.
Rutherford began her world record attempt in mid-August in Kortrijk in Belgium. She flew in her ultralight sports jet to Scotland, Iceland, Greenland, Canada, the United States and Colombia.
Afterward, she traveled north again along the American west coast. From Alaska, Rutherford crossed to Russia and then to South Korea. She wants to return to Belgium via Indonesia, India and the Middle East.
Rutherford is completing the trip alone, without a follower plane. The current Guinness World Record is held by American Shaesta Waiz, who completed her solo tour at the age of 30 in 2017.
Reporting by ANP