June 16, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)
If you’re a general aviation pilot or flying enthusiast, you may have dreamed about taking a long cross-country flight to some far away destination. Flying solo, all alone on a long flight can be a wonderful and challenging experience; a challenge that 19-year-old Matt Guthmiller also plans to experience. Guthmiller, a freshman at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has set out to be the youngest American to circumnavigate the globe in a small plane. He has his Commercial pilot certificate and 500 + hours total flying time.
Guthmiller got his idea after reading an Airline Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) article about the current world record holder for the youngest American to fly solo around the world. That pilot, Jack Wiegand, was only 21 when he made his around the world flight to become the youngest American ever to do so. Guthmiller was inspired and knew he was up for the challenge himself.
Guthmiller’s adventure began on May 31, 2014. The first leg of his trip was from San Diego to his home town of Aberdeen, South Dakota. He successfully made the trip in 7.5 hours in a fully updated 1981 Beechcraft A36 Bonanza. The plane that was provided to him by High Performance Aircraft in San Diego is equipped with a Garmin G500, two brand new LCD glass panels and a satellite phone. The owner outfitted the plane with a new engine and the modern avionics so Gutmmiller would have the best equipment on board for his worldwide flight. The Bonanza also has added ferry tanks, which allow more fuel to be carried for the long legs of the trip.
Guthmiller’s planned route will take him to destinations like London, Rome, Egypt, Abu Dhabi, India and Australia, to name a few. The 29,000 mile journey will take Guthmiller an estimated month to do. During his adventure Guthmiller will make 25 stops in 14 countries, on 5 different continents. This is quite a feat for even the most experienced of pilots, let alone a teenager with only 500 hours under his belt. But according to Guthmiller, nothing is impossible.
You can follow Guthmiller on this epic adventure and read updates on how he’s doing on his website http://www.limitless-horizons.org/ We certainly wish him the best as he follows his dream.