Guinness World Records for dream solo flight
Published on: Sunday, January 23, 2022
By: Kan Yaw Chong
Text Size:

Zara in deep hug with mother Beatrice De Smet after landing last Thursday while her father Sam and brother Mack look on.
WOW, after a three-day (December 16-19, 2021) stopover in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, 19-year-old aviator Zara Rutterford struck home two Guinness World Record title for being the youngest woman to fly around the world solo, when when she finally touched down in Belgium last Thursday (January 22, 2022) after a marathon 155-day stint!

She received a rapturous welcome home, after first leaving it on August 18, 2021.

Not only that, Zara, a British-Belgian national, also now holds the Guinness World Record title for the first woman to circumnavigate the world in a microlight aircraft, beating the record held by American Shaesta Waiz, who was 30 when she circumnavigated the globe unaccompanied in 2017.          

Suddenly, all those who helped Zara during her KK stopover became super excited about being part of this great reputation.

As Sabah Belgium Consul’s chosen local media, the Daily Express for sure feels great to be part of that honour after having written a series of three Special Reports on Zara’s epic endeavour.

DE wrapping up epic story 

To wrap up this very unusual exclusive, we wrap up the epic journey that lasted more than five months with a random of facts sent to the Daily Express by Zara’s cousin and her FlyZolo Team       

January 20, 2022: landed in Wevelgem-Kortrijk airport after having circumnavigated the globe in a small plane.

Official Guinness World Records broken: 1. The youngest person to circumnavigate by aircraft solo (female) is 19 years 199 days, achieved by Zara Rutterford (Belgium, born on July 5, 2002), on January 20, 2022.

2. The youngest person to circumnavigate solo by microlight aircraft is 19 years old 199 days. 

Guinness World Record requirements: Zara had to include one pair of antipodals (points diametrically perfectly opposite to each other on the globe). On September 3, 2021 she visited the first antipodal: Quibdo, Colombia (the wettest city on earth). On December 21, 2021, she visited the second antipodal: Jarkata, Indonesia.

Zara is also the first Belgian to have circumnavigated the world flying solo. 


An ecstatic Zara raised her two Guinness World Records at the conclusion of her 155-day epic solo flight around the world last Thursday, 20 January, 2022. 


Facts and figures

- Total distance: 52,080.3km (28,121 nautical miles) 

- Total time in the air: 260 hours.

- Take-offs and landings: 71 (69 stops), including 10 diversions to an airfield other than planned; two returns to the same airfield) 

- Longest flight: 2,000km (1080 nautical miles).

- Longest flight over water: 1,861km (1,005 nautical miles)) Highest altitude: 4,200 metres (13,800ft) over Greenland.

- Continents visited: 5

- Countries visited: 41

- Highest temperature in flight: + 36 degrees Celsius (Colombia).

- Lowest temperature in fight: -25 degrees C (Ayan, Siberia, Russia, dropping to -35 degrees C at night. 

- Safety: Zara received advice from experienced pilots at all times ( in KK-Capt John Sham, Capt Dorai Raja, Capt Mahmud, Capt Siva Lingam, Singapore Airlines Senior Instructor). She was in contact with the flight operations team through the Iridium Communications satellite system, and via YB Tracking. She had a personal locator beacon, survival suit and a life-raft in case of landing in water. The Shark Aero is equipped with an integrated parachute.

- FlyZolo Team: Zara received invaluable help from hundreds of people in all locations along her route (told Daily Express the local KK stopover help was “invaluable, I needed it and appreciated it”).          

- Aircraft: Shark aero one of the fastest ultralight aircraft in the world (up to 300km/hour, designed with help of Czech engineers, produced in Slovakia 

- Mission: With her flight Zara wants to encourage girls and women to pursue their dreams and reduce the gender gaps in aviation as well as in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (#STEM), #grit # courage, #pilot # aviation # female pilot #girl pilot #Guinness world record. 


A cheerful Zara after touching down at Kota Kinabalu International Airport at 4.20pm on Dec 16, 2021 welcomed by Datuk Capt Mahmud (right) and Capt Raja. 


Follow Us  

Follow us on            

Daily Express TV  

Special Reports - Most Read

What the people say
December 20, 2014