South Dakota is home for Matt Guthmiller. But for the next month, the 19-year-old Aberdeen native will make a 1981 Bonanza airplane his home as he attempts to become the youngest person ever to fly solo around the world. Guthmiller takes flight Wednesday from San Diego. You can track his flight and follow his blog at Limitless-horizons.org.
When Matt Guthmiller realized he could get his pilot’s license at 17, he asked his parents to take him to do an intro flight. He says they thought it would be a one-time $20 expense. Three years later Guthmiller begins a quest that could make him the youngest pilot to ever fly solo around the globe. “About this time last year, I read an article about a guy from California that was going to do it. He was going to be the youngest person to fly around the world, and he ended up being 21. But when I read this article I thought ‘Gee I can do that,’ started looking into it, started looking for a plane and now I’ve got it all put together. Now I’m going to go do it,” says Guthmiller. The 19-year-old will make stops in New York, London, Rome, Athens, and more. His flight plan is over 28,000 miles in one month. Twenty stops in 13 countries. Guthmiller says he’ll get his 15 minutes of fame but his journey is about inspiring others and records are meant to be broken. “The biggest thing that I kind of decided I wanted to accomplish with this whole thing is to go out and just show people that a 19-year-old with just over 500 hours of flying time can go fly solo around the world. Just to show people that something like this can be done and hopefully inspire people to go out and hopefully do similarly ambitious things,” says Guthmiller. Guthmiller’s flight will include a social media and money-raising campaign for Code.org, a charity for computer science education across America. He plans to land in Aberdeen with a Guinness world record in the first week of July.