Zara Rutherford starts her epic journey to be the youngest woman to fly solo around the world on 18th August.

52 Countries, 60 days, 50,100km. From August 18th, 2021, Zara will be documenting her attempt on TikTok, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Follow #FlyZolo. Get ready for the journey, the updates and see if you can help with the sponsorship needed to make this incredible challenge a success.

Jayne Jackson  |  30th July 2021
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Jayne Jackson

Jayne Jackson is AvBuyer's Head of Online. Jayne was LifeStyle Editor of Bizjet Advisor China and was...

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It's been a busy year for Zara. Her recent schedule included finishing her A-Levels - Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Economics, and Physicsa ferry flight from Texas to Jordan, flight training, press launch and then preparation for launch on 18th August 2021*. Zara will leave from Kortrijk-Wevelgem Airport, Belgium.  

Zara Rutherford is 19 years old and aims to fly around the world, and in the process, break 3 world records -  

  • Youngest woman to fly around the world solo 
  • Youngest person to fly around the world solo in a microlight 
  • First woman to fly solo around the world in a microlight

"I have checked the requirements with Guinness and the FAI. My attempt is being supported by the same team behind the VintageAirRally and Air Trophy. They are also an aircraft ferry company, delivering small aircraft around the globe. I must, however, fund my attempt entirely myself with the help of sponsors. I also hope to make aviation accessible and inspire new generations of pilots. To encourage young people, particularly women, to follow their dreams both in the air and on the ground." says Zara. "I will mostly achieve this aim through TikTok, where I will make funny/interesting content to get young people interested in aviation. I am planning to have schoolchildren meeting me at every stop to ask questions and see the plane! 

Zara is also supporting two non-profit organizations that create opportunity for more girls in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and flying which are Girls Who Code -  a non-profit organization which aims to increase the number of women in computer science. And Dreams Soar - a charity founded by Shaesta Waiz, the current female record-holder for the youngest woman to circumnavigate the globe solo. Dreams Soar is a non-profit organization which hopes to inspire women and girls to achieve their dreams and enter STEM fields of study and careers. "

Shaesta Waiz was 30 years old at the time of her circumnavigation in 2017.  The youngest male record holder is just over 18 years old.  The gap in ages between the men and women is one indication of the disparity in the number of male and female opportunity.  Zara is hoping to get more girls interested in aviation.  

Talking about her passion, Zara explains:

 "I was in the cockpit of a light plane within months of birth and have also been traveling in small planes since the age of six to far flung places all around the world.  I was skydiving at 11 and actually flying a plane at 14.  With an English father and Belgian mother (both pilots) I hold dual nationality.  I completed my education in Belgium and England and at 14 years old began to train to get my pilot licence."

" I will be flying a Shark ultralight, the world’s fastest (150knots / 300km/h cruise speed) light sport aircraft.  It is one of the most advanced microlight aircraft in the world, used as a primary trainer for fast jet pilots. I’ll need just 2500 litres of fuel to fly around the world (the same amount as a passenger jet uses in 10 minutes!). It has very long range, is very safe and is extremely capable.  It is usually a tandem two seater but one seat has been removed to accommodate an extra fuel tank.

When Zara is not flying she runs a small sneaker business and likes to code! She plan to go to university to study computer science/computer engineering. And dreams of becoming an astronaut.

Zara and sneakers


Zara is completely self funded and needs more sponsors. She even auctioned her beloved Qashqai 2014 on eBay to raise money for the trip. 

There are two options; sponsoring equipment or services or sponsoring with financial aid.

She will have multiple event options (for VIPs and guests) at stops along the way. Zara will offer cutting edge video updates and high resolution still images. 

Current sponsors are listed below but more are needed for a complex project like this attempt. 

SafeSky is a Belgian start-up, founded by Belgian and French pilots. It is a situation awareness application running on Apple and Android. All pilots will be able to anonymously share their position in flight while receiving the position of other pilots by simply downloading, free of charge, the SafeSky application on their smartphones or tablets. 

Shark Aero is providing Zara with a Shark UL, one of the world's fastest microlights. 

Sókn Engineering L.L.C. is a Woman-Owned S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) company that, over a seven-year period and thousands of hours, has developed highly complex mathematical algorithms for the Financial Technology (FinTech) industry. 

Bose Corporation. Bose is best known for its home audio systems and speakers, noise-cancelling headphones, professional audio products and automobile sound systems. 

Belstaff - Belstaff is providing Zara with their high quality jackets to protect her against the cold temperatures of the Arctic circle!  

YB Tracking - YB Tracking provides satellite tracking services to events across the world - everything from yacht races to expeditions, shipping companies to lone workers. Their two-way communication devices allow your progress to be tracked, and for you to send messages back to base when needed.  

Iridium® is the only mobile voice and data satellite communications network that spans the entire globe. Iridium enables connections between people, organizations and assets to and from anywhere, in real time

Empowering Success -  founded by Alice Bromage in 2015 to formalise the workshops and mentoring she was providing to friends and colleagues. Her focus is to help you develop your business, and yourself, so that you can achieve financial freedom as well as personal, professional and financial resilience. - Highly advanced flight simulator in Brussels that is allowing me to train at all my different stops using virtual reality.  

Airbourne Aviation Ltd - The UK's most popular flight training school, making your dream of flight a reality.

The Grande Dames of Aviation -  a group of highly accomplished professional aviators. Our mission is to inspire future generations of women to pursue aviation as a career by celebrating the accomplishments of the grande dames of yesterday and today.  

TURTLE-PAC  - is the inventor and source of collapsible ferry tanks from Ultra Lights to multi engine jets and large helicopters world wide. 

Prepare2Go  - is advising Zara before/throughout the journey to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

White Rose Aviation  - is aiding Zara with flight clearances all around the world.   

We're all rooting for Zara. And, we will keep you updated on her progress. 

For more details visit FlyZolo or follow the #FlyZolo on Instagram, FaceBook, TikTok and LinkedIn.

* The original launch date of August 2nd was delayed because the technical team were installing a new cutting edge video recording system. This is a huge improvement to the originally planned setup but took longer than expected.

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