Matt Guthmiller: MIT student finishes solo flight around the world

boston matt guthmiller mit student world record solo flight
Matt Guthmiller, the MIT student, who sought to break the world record for the youngest solo flight around the world.
Credit: Limitless Horizons

A 19-year-old Massachusetts Institute of Technology student is back in the United States after more than six weeks flying solo around the world.

Matt Guthmiller, a South Dakota native, sought to break the world record for the youngest person to fly solo around the globe. He landed at Gillespie Field, an airport in San Diego Monday night. He started his nearly 30,000-mile journey from that airport on May 31.

A very tired sounding Guthmiller told Metro on Tuesday that he spent much of the day catching up on sleep and preparing documents to send to Guinness World Records to verify his record journey.

“It’s exciting to be back,” said Guthmiller, the exhaustion clear in his voice. “The whole thing was just a lot of fun, especially all the interesting and really great people that I met.”

Guthmiller, who will enter his sophomore year at MIT in the fall, spoke with Metro about his journey as he was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Manila. Asked about potentially becoming the youngest person ever to fly solo around the world, Guthmiller said then: “Ultimately … the biggest thing is not the record, just to hopefully inspire other people.”

According to Guinness World Records, before Guthmiller took off, the youngest person to fly solo around the world was California-native Jack Wiegand who completed the trip at 21 years old.

Wiegand completed the trip in June 2013 in just under two months.

A spokeswoman for Guinness World Records said that the organization is awaiting his log books and evidence from the journey to be sent to them. Once that happens and they can confirm his flight, which may take a couple of days, the record will be official.

Guthmiller, an electrical engineer and computer science major, has a busy few days coming up. He’s heading to New York City to do a TV interview and has to take his plane to Las Vegas before heading home.

When asked what his next adventure will be, Guthmiller wasn’t sure, but had a few big ideas.

“I realized the other day that I have six and a half years [left] to become the youngest person to go into space, so I might try something along those lines,” he said. “Or create the next Apple. I don’t know.”

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.


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