A 16-year-old schoolboy who is striving to become the youngest person to travel the world alone, landed his small plane in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, on Wednesday.
Mac Rutherford, who holds dual British and Belgian citizenship, began his journey near the Bulgarian capital Sofia in March and is looking to snatch the Guinness World Record currently held by compatriot Travis Ludlow, who was 18 when he completed a round-the-world trip last year.
“I hope, on this journey, to inspire young people to follow their dreams,” Rutherford said after boarding his lightweight two-seater plane, at Wilson Airport.
The aircraft manufacturer, Shark Aero, considered the flight too risky and refused to take part in the Rutherford project.
“Mac is undoubtedly a skilled pilot. However, we do not feel comfortable pushing the minimum age to the lowest possible point for flights where a certain level of risk cannot be avoided,” the company said on its website.
Rutherford’s trip will see him visit four more countries in Africa and the Indian Ocean, before heading to the Middle East, Asia and North America and finally returning to Europe.
Coming from a family of pilots, Rutherford first piloted an airplane at the age of seven, sitting next to his father.
He said visibility was a challenge while flying through the desert, but the scenery more than made up for it.
“It didn’t let me down, I absolutely loved the views around the Sahara and in Kenya,” he said.
“Subtly charming student. Pop culture junkie. Creator. Amateur music specialist. Beer fanatic.”