19-year-old woman gets closer to world tour

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JAKARTA – Teenager Zara Rutherford, keen to become the youngest woman to fly solo around the world, recalled the challenges of crossing deserted and icy Siberia on Wednesday after landing in Jakarta.

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The 19-year-old Belgian-British pilot, who left Belgium in August, hopes to complete her 51,000-kilometer journey across five continents and 52 countries by mid-January 2022.

The most difficult stage so far has been flying over northern Russia, she told reporters in the Indonesian capital, because if something went wrong, help with sub-zero temperatures would likely be. in few hours.

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“If for some reason the engine stops, I think I could survive. I could either land on land or (use) the parachute or ditch in the water. I’ll be fine, ”she said.

“The problem is, if I’m at minus 35 degrees Celsius, once I’m on the ground and three hours from the nearest human,… actually, I don’t know how long I can survive. . “

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To meet the criteria of a world tour, Rutherford designated two opposing points on the globe, Jambi in Indonesia and the Colombian city of Tumaco.

Describing each solo flight as an “adventure” and a challenge of the mind, the daughter of two pilots said she hoped her trip would inspire other young women in the fields of aviation, science, aviation. technology, mathematics and engineering.

The record she aims to break is held by Shaesta Waiz, who was 30 when she toured the world solo in 2017.

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