Teenage pilot starts around-the-world flight from Bulgaria

    Mack Rutherford. (Photo Credit: MackSolo)

    SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — A Belgian-British teenage pilot hopes to join his sister in the record books after starting his attempt to become the youngest person to fly around the world solo in a small plane.

    The 16-year-old Mack Rutherford took off from an airstrip west of Bulgarian capital Sofia in windy but clear conditions.

    The first stop will be in Italy.

    From there he will fly south to Africa, then he will head north to India, China, South Korea and Japan.

    He will go on to Alaska and continue along the U.S. West Coast to Mexico.

    Then he will head north again along the East Coast to Canada, cross the Atlantic, stop in Iceland, the U.K. and finish his journey in Sofia after three to five months depending on the weather conditions.

    His 19-year-old sister Zara Rutherford set the world record for the youngest woman to fly solo around the world when she touched down in Belgium on Jan. 20.

    Mack Rutherford if successful would displace Travis Ludlow of Britain who was 18 when he set the record in 2021.

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