Matt Guthmiller Becomes Youngest Pilot to Fly Around the World Solo
What did you do when you were 19? Other than sit around and eat pizza. We can guarantee you didn’t set the current record for the youngest person to fly around the world solo. Why? Because 19-year-old Matt Guthmiller has that one covered. On July 14, Guthmiller landed his 1981 Beechcraft A36 Bonanza in El Cajon, California, sealing the deal on a globetrotting trip that took him across 27,000 miles of open sky for over 44 days, and approximately 170 hours spent in the air.
While that’s an astounding achievement in itself, it only sheds more light onto an already brilliant young student at MIT. By the fifth grade, Matt had taught himself how to write code, and in 2007, he opened one of the very first iPhone unlocking businesses. During high school he had moved up to writing algorithms to predict crude oil prices and by senior year he was a finalist for the 20 Under 20 Thiel Fellowship, which he dropped out of in the final round to go to MIT.
An outstanding thinker then, as well as a damn good pilot. Matt took his first flight lessons when he was 16 (only three years ago), received his private pilot certificate on his 17th birthday, and has since logged an impressive 500 hours in the air before embarking on the trip.
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The journey began on May 31, in California, and saw Matt make 25 stops in 14 countries across five continents, including the United Kingdom, Italy, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, the Philippines, and Australia.
Guthmiller’s Limitless Horizons organization collected funds for the trip, with the intention that all proceeds – after expenses – be donated to code.org, a non-profit organization that furthers computer science education efforts in schools.
Now the 19-year-old is back home in Aberdeen, South Dakota, but we don’t expect him to be kicking back during his last few weeks of summer.
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