Teenager piloting a small plane solo on long-distance, record-breaking flight. EFL text.

Nineteen-Year-Old Flies Around the World

In January 2022, 19-year-old Zara Rutherford landed her small plane in Belgium, becoming the youngest woman to fly solo around the world. Instead of starting university, Zara embarked on a bold, ambitious journey, flying over 51,000 km across five continents in a SharkVL plane, equipped with radios, extra fuel tanks, and a parachute.

Zara, who completed her A-Levels in Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Economics, and Physics, dreams of becoming an astronaut. She undertook this risky journey across 41 countries to inspire young women. She believes that girls need role models in fields like science, space, and technology to pursue their dreams.

Her journey began in Belgium, crossing the Atlantic with challenging flights, intense weather, and even losing radio contact. In Canada, Zara received encouragement and advice from female pilots, including Captain Erin Pratt, who gave her a lucky ‘flying wings’ pin. Weather was a constant challenge, with Zara navigating thunderstorms, avoiding lightning, and dealing with visibility issues due to forest fires.

Throughout her journey, Zara demonstrated remarkable courage and resilience. She learned that people are capable of more than they think. Despite delays, Zara never gave up. Her historic flight not only set a record but also inspired many young women to pursue flying.

Zara’s adventure concluded in Belgium, where she expressed joy in inspiring others and gratitude for the support and luck the Captain Pratt’s pin brought her.

Want to read more about Zara’s incredible flight? Here’s the long version for more practice. Don’t forget to click on the highlighted words for definitions!

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