Nation/World

Pilot, 19, flies around the world by himself

Matt Guthmiller arrives at Gillespie Field in El Cajon, Calif., on Monday. (Associated Press)
Matt Guthmiller arrives at Gillespie Field in El Cajon, Calif., on Monday. (Associated Press)

A South Dakota teenager may have become the youngest person to fly solo around the world.

Matt Guthmiller, 19, completed the more than 29,000-mile journey in a leased single-engine airplane late Monday night when he touched down at Gillespie Field in El Cajon, California.

Guthmiller made about two dozen stops in 14 countries during the journey that began May 31, according to his mother, Shirley, who greeted her son after his 16-hour final leg flight from Honolulu.

“Of course he looked tired,” Shirley Guthmiller said in a telephone interview.

“I’m very relieved he is home, but I wasn’t worried.”

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineering student was sleeping late Tuesday morning, she said.

Matt Guthmiller took an early interest in aviation and was 16 when he got his pilot’s license.

“As a little kid, he was afraid to go down to the basement,” said his father, Allen Guthmiller. “It’s amazing how kids change. Now he’s not afraid of anything.”

Guthmiller’s parents said he’s sending documentation to Guinness World Records, which must confirm that he broke the record.



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