Teen on historic flight to touch down in Dare County

By on August 27, 2021

Zara Rutherford bids to be youngest woman to circle the planet solo

Zara Rutherford (FLYZOLO.COM)

Update: Some additional details about Zara Rutherford’s flight courtesy of Lyndse Costabile, a Raleigh resident and principal consultant to FunD Av Consulting, who will be flying a Grumman Cheeta to the Wright Brothers airstrip early Sunday to be on hand when Zara arrives here. She is tentatively scheduled to land shortly after 10 a.m.

Zara is expected to remain on the ground in Dare County for a brief period of time, mingling with a “mini-welcoming committee” before getting airborne again and heading to Jacksonville FL. Among those greeting her in Jacksonville, will be Shaesta Waiz, who currently has the distinction of being the youngest woman to fly solo around the world, accomplishing the feat at age 30 in 2017.  If successful, Zara will break her record before she turns 20.


If everything stays on schedule, on Sunday, Aug. 29, 19-year-old Zara Rutherford will land her Shark Ultralight plane (optimum cruising speed of 140 knots) on the small airfield at the Wright Brothers Memorial on her journey to become the youngest woman to fly solo around the world.

Rutherford left her native Belgium on Aug. 18 and is slated to arrive in Dare County after a layover in New York City. According to her website, FlyZolo – Youngest Woman Solo, she should arrive back at home in March of 2022.

Both of Rutherford’s parents are pilots, and on her site, she says she’s been “flying for as long as I can remember,” with her sights set on becoming an astronaut. She explains that the goal of her potentially historic mission is to “promote flying and STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) opportunities for girls/young women.”

Of course, no one can be certain that Zara will arrive in Kill Devil Hills exactly when planned, but you can follow her journey on the FlyZolo site.

Efforts to reach Zara or members of her team have thus far been unsuccessful. After sending an email on Aug. 27, this reporter received a prompt and polite auto reply that read, “Thank you very much for your message.  I am currently busy flying around the world on my world record attempt so am unable to respond immediately to all messages.”


(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)


  • Cola Vaughan

    “After sending an email on Aug. 29, this reporter……..”
    Well that’s a great way to get a scoop; project yourself into the future! 😉

    Friday, Aug 27 @ 5:26 pm
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    Cola, I forgot to tell you about my time machine.

    Friday, Aug 27 @ 9:37 pm
  • tim

    Looks like she plans to arrive Sunday around 10-10:15am. She would use radio freq 122.9 mhz as she sets up to land at First Flight.

    Saturday, Aug 28 @ 8:49 am
  • surf123

    This youngest to do something is absurd. Where does it stop? With the right amount of funding and pushy parents someone will beat her age “record”. Once something has been done it’s not impressive to have a younger person do it. It is like the 2nd expedition to summit Everest. The 1st is the only one that mattered.

    Saturday, Aug 28 @ 6:52 pm
  • Cola Vaughan

    Mark this ‘paper’ is the best; a real asset to the community. Thank You! and it would be really cool to see Zara at the Monument tomorrow so thanks Tim for that timely info.

    Saturday, Aug 28 @ 8:12 pm
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    Much appreciated, Cola.

    Saturday, Aug 28 @ 9:44 pm
  • Susan

    ooops, never mind. I just noticed her website updates show “delayed due to weather” for both KFFA and KJAX destinations. Great story to follow. Thanks.

    Sunday, Aug 29 @ 10:46 am
  • tim

    Watching on Flight tracker she is flying the VFR corridor in New York doing some sight seeing so must not be coming here to First Flight today.

    Sunday, Aug 29 @ 11:12 am
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    Hey Tim and Susan, as of about 4 p.m. on Sunday, she was on her way here, but no sure ETA yet.

    Sunday, Aug 29 @ 4:14 pm
  • John Tremaine

    Fly carefully keep well rested good luck you will make it

    Sunday, Aug 29 @ 6:39 pm