Teen Fly Solo Round World

Brussels — Avoid typhoons in the Philippines. check.

Avoid large California wildfires. check.

Keep away from North Korean test missiles. what? hang on.

When teen pilot Zara Rutherford ever flew in a record-breaking world Odyssey, she was in a huge cloud that could block the passage of North Korean airspace and her ultralight planes. I ran into something as strange or horrifying as when I tried to push it in between.

“Well, they sometimes test missiles without warning,” Rutherford said. More importantly, she was only 15 minutes after flying one of the last places to enter an uninvited place.

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On August 18, 2021, Belgian and British teen Zara Rutherford poses at the tarmac in front of the Shark ultralight plane before taking off at Kortrijk-Wevelgem Airfield in Wevelgem, Belgium. (Virginia Mayo / AP Photo)

So she sent a radio to her control team asking if she could get through the isolated communist dictatorship and reach Seoul. “Soon they said:” No matter what you do, don’t enter the North Korean airspace! “Fortunately, the clouds cooperated well and she took a crash course in applied geopolitics. I didn’t have to continue.

At the age of 19, she plans to land a single-seater shark sports aircraft in Kortrijk, Belgium, on Monday, more than 150 days after she began to be the youngest woman to travel around the world. American aviator Shaesta Waiz was 30 when she set the previous benchmark.

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In this dateless photo provided by FlyZolo, childhood Zara Rutherford is a passenger on an airplane operated by his father Sam Rutherford. (FlyZolo via AP)

The flight runs in her blood because her parents are pilots and she has traveled on small planes since she was six years old. It has a bigger meaning.

At the final landing of a plane that looks like a fly among giants parked at airports like JFK in New York, Belgian and British teens bring the spirit of aviation to young women and girls around the world. I want to infuse it. Accurate science, mathematics, engineering, technology.

Two mathematical statistics represent her. Only 5% of commercial pilots and 15% of computer scientists are female.

“The gender gap is huge,” she said.

But as the canopy closes the cockpit and another six to eight hours of flight begins, the lofty thoughts about global outreach recede as she concentrates on one lonely individual, herself. did.

With visual flight rules, basically only visibility, the danger is even closer than when she can use gorgeous nautical instruments to guide her through the night, clouds, or fog. I was lurking.

She crossed Northern California from Palo Alto to Seattle and headed for a huge wildfire that struck the area. When she climbed high to avoid smoke (up to 10,000 feet), it was difficult to keep an eye on the ground.

“The smoke was getting more and more, the whole cabin was smoke, and I could only see the polished orange color,” Rutherford said. She had to cancel the route and make an unplanned landing in Redding, California.

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In this dateless photo provided by FlyZolo, Zara Rutherford looks out of the cockpit at the Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles. (FlyZolo via AP)

Over Siberia, light could mischief her view and question whether she saw mountains or clouds. “And for me, clouds are a really big problem, especially in Russia,” he said, terribly cold. Cutting through such clouds can cause too much ice to build up on her wings, paralyzing control. “At that point, your plane is no longer a plane,” she said.

It, or another accident, could have happened in a section of the route where she once saw only one village in six hours.

“If something goes wrong, I’ve noticed that I’m hours and hours away from the rescue and it’s -35 C (-31 F) on the ground, so in fact, how long can I survive? I didn’t know, “Razaford said. She didn’t need to know.

The project would normally have been difficult enough, but the pandemic added another complexity-which indirectly led to a North Korean adventure.

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In this dateless photo provided by FlyZolo, Zara Rutherford has the mascot “Miffy” while standing in front of a plane in Alaska, USA. (FlyZolo via AP)

Another plan to go beyond China to Seoul was abandoned when the Chinese refused permission because of COVID-19. This is what Rutherford said: I would be very impressed if I could pass the COVID like this. “

Overall, bad weather, punctures, and visa issues added another two months to the planned three-month project. The Associated Press called Rutherford on Crete, Greece, and even there, the weather on the Balkans was terrible and delayed her for days.

It gave her time to ponder the whims of fate. “When you’re afraid of your life, it puts things a little more out of sight,” she said. “That is, the cloud, the cloud, can kill me.”

In a wealthy country, “we grow up in a world with a huge amount of safety nets,” she said. “In fact, you’ll notice that you’re flying over Alaska, Russia, or Greenland. In fact, there’s no safety net. It’s just like me. If something goes wrong, I No one can help. “

Epoch Times Photo
In this dateless photo provided by FlyZolo, Zara Rutherford is flying over the desert of Saudi Arabia on a shark ultralight plane. (FlyZolo via AP)

But the wider world, now “this little planet” for her, turned out to be more than afraid. She’s with the deserts of Saudi Arabia, where the colors of sand and rocks change, the barren north of Alaska, the giant circular Apple Park in Cupertino, California, or the world’s most lonely home on Iceland’s deserted island of Erioai. I talked like a dream about the sight of the called place.

And she also began to appreciate some simpler joys.

“Previously it was about an epic adventure,” she said. “But in fact, watching TV with a cat is special. It’s also very unique.”

By Raf Casert

Associated Press