SAN DIEGO (CBS/AP) – A 19-year-old MIT sophomore may have just become the youngest pilot to fly solo around the world.
South Dakota native Matt Guthmiller landed at Gillespie Airfield in El Cajon, California on Monday completing his 29,000 mile journey that spanned 14 countries and 25 stops.
Guthmiller, an electrical engineering major, told reporters he was thrilled to be back after his 44-day journey.
“It’s great to be back. It was a lot of fun,” he said, after completing his final 16-hour leg from Honolulu.
Guthmiller made stops in Greece, Thailand, India and Great Britain.
Before the flight, Guthmiller said he was trying to motivate others to do something ambitious.
“The biggest thing I want to accomplish is to go out and inspire people to go out and do similarly ambitious things,” he said.
The previous record was held by Australian Ryan Campbell who was 19 years, seven months and 25 days old when he finished a similar journey in 2013. Guthmiller will be that exact age on July 24.
Guinness World Records could not be reached for comment immediately on Tuesday.
Guthmiller’s mother, Shirley, greeted her son at the airfield saying she was not worried about her son during his journey.
“I learned a long time ago it doesn’t help him any if I worry. It doesn’t help me any if I worry. I just have to put him in the hands of the lord and keep praying,” she said.
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