How is the beginner pilot doing on the solo round-the-world flight?

From August 27: 130-hour pilot takes off for a round-the-world flight in a light airplane

It looks as though the 19-year-old pilot had some maintenance and perhaps weather delays in Alaska, but as of October 24, 2021 was forecasting arrival at the Shark factory in Slovakia today:

We can check FlyZolo to see how light aircraft reality matched up to light aircraft plans! (It may be fair to say that the worse the match, the better the pilot and/or dispatcher/planner!)


  • “Teenage Aviator Aims to Be Youngest Woman to Circle the Globe Solo” (NYT): Zara Rutherford, 19, left Belgium last week and plans to complete her journey by early November. … If she does, she would overtake Shaesta Waiz to become the youngest woman to circumnavigate the globe solo in a single-engine aircraft. (Travis Ludlow, an aviator from Britain, did so in July at the age of 18.) … “Such a great example for women, to see that we are capable of so much more than we sometimes think, believe or dream!” Ms. Rutherford wrote on Facebook. [How does the NYT know that Travis Ludlow does not identify as a woman? Isn’t it possible that Ludlow is already the youngest woman to circumnavigate the globe solo?]

7 thoughts on “How is the beginner pilot doing on the solo round-the-world flight?

  1. After being stuck for a month in Alaska she has now been stuck for a month in Siberia. Her father the brainchildren of this operation owns a general aviation fixing company. Too bad he can’t fix the weather. Hopefully the zolo girl will come back fluent in Russian. Anything for stem!

  2. is a bit low on details, but compensates with dozens of sponsors and bling. So she has at least three pilots and a flight safety consultant on her team. And she waits for good conditions (understandably!).

    Still I would like to know if she’s flying in a formation with others (but alone in her plane) or completely on her own.

    If we can’t get this information, in the meantime we can enjoy Greta Thunberg’s low carbon footprint in her Atlantic crossing by sailboat:

    “Two crewmembers had to fly across the Atlantic to New York to bring the boat back, and two of the crewmembers that made the original voyage had to fly across the Atlantic from the US to return home. That’s four flights to keep Greta from making two.”

    • She is flying by herself in her own plane with no escort planes. Her family are the other pilots that are advising her from abroad. Her father owns a general aviation logistics company and this is probably more his dream than her’s. She cannot fly at night or in bad weather. She was delayed in Alaska by over a month due to weather and visa problems. Now she has been stuck in Siberia for another month. Her goal in doing this is to promote stem education to women and girls. Not sure how getting stuck in the Arctic for 2 months does any of this. At this rate Greata would do the circumnavigation much faster in her sail boat!

    • I did read the ferry pilot book Philip recommended.

      Lesson: all ferry pilots are insane adrenalin junkies, and those that survive seem to have done so more based on luck than good sense.

      This round the world trip on the other hand, seems to limit over water flights to pretty tiny chunks like Greenland to Newfoundland, Iceland to Greenland, UK to Iceland, South Korea to Taiwan ETC. All the westwards progression seems to happen in the Arctic, strange to choose the Northern hemisphere winter if that is the strategy!

    • She is officially out of Siberia and has made it to Khabarovsk. Hopefully Pavel can tell us if Khabarovsk is nice this time of year!

    • Khabarovsk is in Rusian Far East and is a part of southern Siberia. Khabarovsk region is huge and populated by brown bears and the largest subspecie of tigers.

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