NewsYoung pilot Zara Rutherford struggles with poor visibility

Young pilot Zara Rutherford struggles with poor visibility

Everything was already prepared in Frankfurt for Zara Rutherford to land. But then the bad weather ruined all plans.

Egelsbach – Zara Rutherford wants to become the youngest woman to fly solo around the world – but shortly before the finish foggy weather prevented a stopover near Frankfurt.

Already in the Czech Republic, she had to land at a different airport than planned on Sunday due to poor visibility. Then “everything was tight elsewhere so that she couldn’t fly to us,” said Nina Lamprecht, spokeswoman for the small Frankfurt-Egelsbach airfield. Rutherford steers her ultralight aircraft on sight – “low cloud formation is too dangerous”.

On Sunday, Rutherford’s website announced only one airport in its destination country, Belgium. That pointed to a direct flight from the Czech Republic there. Lamprecht said at the Egelsbach airfield: “We had already prepared everything for your welcome.”

Two small planes should have accompanied Rutherford in the air at the end and firefighters on the ground should have sprayed an arc of water. “But she promised to come back to us in the next few days if possible.”

Rutherford, who started in Belgium in August 2021 at the age of 19, was born flying, so to speak: both her Belgian mother and her English father are pilots. At the age of 14, the student learned how to fly an airplane and worked towards her first pilot’s license.

Now the goal was: world record. So far, the American Shaesta Waiz, who flew around the planet alone at the age of 30, has held it. The male record holder is an 18-year-old – for Zara also a sign of gender inequality.

She says she hopes to get more girls interested in science and aviation, and supports two non-profit initiatives – Dreams Soar and Girls Who Code – as part of her record attempt. dpa

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