A 16-year-old teen single-handedly landed a plane at Nairobi Wilson Airport after flying across the Ocean from Bulgaria all the way to Kenya on Wednesday, May 18.
Mack Rutherford decided to embark on the quest with the aim of becoming the youngest person to fly around the world alone.
The schoolboy started his journey near the Bulgarian capital Sofia in March and is on a mission to clinch a Guinness World record currently held by compatriot Travis Ludlow, who was 18 when he completed a circumnavigation in 2021.
“I’m hoping, with this journey, to inspire young people to follow their dreams,” Rutherford said after clambering out of his two-seater single prop ultralight aircraft, at Wilson Airport,” he stated after landing.
Kenya is among the countries the teen had set to visit while on his mission to break the world record. He is scheduled to visit four more African and Indian Ocean countries, before heading to the Middle East, Asia and North America and finally returning to Europe.
He hails from a family of pilots with deep interest in the aviation sector. He first took control of a plane at the age of seven, but with the help of his father.
His passion and drive made Mack the youngest pilot in the world only at the age of 15. His sister, Zara Rutherford, also made history by becoming the youngest woman to fly around the world at the age of 19.
Mack is now on a mission to keep his family’s legacy alive and also set new records in the world of aviation.
However, he has encountered a number of challenges in the quest to break the world record.
The plane’s manufacturer, Shark Aero, declined to support Mack’s mission deeming the journey too risky.
“Mack is no doubt a skilled pilot. However, we do not feel comfortable pushing the age limit to the lowest possible point for journeys where a certain level of risk cannot be avoided,” the company stated on its website.
He also encountered other challenges while flying across the Sahara desert but with the scenery, he managed to keep going until he landed in Nairobi at Wilson Airport.
Kenyans have reacted;