British-Belgian Mack Rutherford (17) becomes youngest person to fly solo around the world

A British-Belgian teenager has set a record with a five-month solo flight around the world. Mack Rutherford, who celebrated his seventeenth birthday in flight, was the youngest ever to fly around the world on his own.

On Wednesday afternoon, Rutherford landed in Bulgaria where he had taken off five months ago. In doing so, he immediately set two records. He is the youngest person to have flown around the world all by himself and the youngest person to have done so in a so-called ultralight aircraft.

Mack took the latter record from his three-year older sister Zara, who showed him how it is done last January. "My sister Zara was a great inspiration to me during my trip, without her I would never have started," he told Radio 2 on Monday during a stopover in Wevelgem, Belgium. His sister Zara said she was "very happy" for him.

Mack, who brought his teddy bear on board, flew over 52 countries and five continents in his Shark ultralight, cruising at a speed of about 300 kilometres per hour. His journey took longer than the planned two to three months. He had to endure monsoon rains, sandstorms and other extreme weather, but was mostly delayed by bureaucratic red tape.

The Rutherford siblings come from a family that is passionate about flying. Their British father is a former army pilot stationed in Belgium and their Belgian mother flies in her spare time. Mack and Zara's grandfather and great-grandfather were also pilots.

Young Mack kept both feet on the ground after landing: "I'm going back to school to catch up."




Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels