Even in the cockpit Zara Rutherford could feel Siberia’s bitter cold cutting through her vehicle. The air temperature was way below freezing, a fact at the forefront of her mind. What would happen if her engine cut out? Even if she made it to the ground safely, she’d never survive so far away from civilization. The plane rocked in turbulence, as if to punctuate her fear.
Above the clouds
These weren’t the only dangerous moments that Rutherford endured on her journey, both above and below the clouds. There were plenty of times when she was in serious peril. Yet she didn’t let that stop her. Instead, she conquered her fears and went on to achieve something incredible — she bagged a world record.
To the brink
Rutherford’s impressive accomplishment isn’t the only component to her record, though: her achievement is intrinsically linked to her comparative youth. The adventurer’s skills and character were pushed to the brink again and again, but in the end she endured. And we think you’ll agree, the flyer’s tenacity has paid off big-time.
Reaching for the stars
At just 19, the British-Belgian broke her world record in a plane before she even began university. “I have been flying for as long as I can remember,” she told website Fly Zolo, “and one of my biggest dreams — as well as flying around the world — is becoming an astronaut.” Rutherford ultimately wishes to study computer science or engineering.
Rutherford has stated that she wants to be an inspiration to other women in mainly male-led fields, such as science. The intrepid aviator broke her world record in a small plane. And as you’ll learn, her journey proved an epic and perilous adventure which spanned five continents.