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South Dakota teen may be youngest ever to fly solo around the world

"This is just one thing [Matt Guthmiller]'s going to do in his lifetime," sponsor says.
By Matt Bradwell Follow @mckb26 Contact the Author   |   July 15, 2014 at 1:42 PM
EL CAJON, Calif., July 15 (UPI) -- An 18-year-old MIT student may be the youngest person to fly solo around the world after arriving at Gillespie Field in southern California Monday night.

Matt Guthmiller of Aberdeen, N.D., flew over 29,000 miles from El Cajon, California, and back. He traveled east around the globe through Rome, Athens, Cairo and Kuala Lumpur, before returning to the United States.

"We are extremely proud of Matt Guthmiller," Mike Borden of High Performance Aircraft told KGTV. Borden was one of the co-sponsors of Guthmiller's flight.

"This is just one thing he's going to do in his lifetime."

Predictably exhausted but elated upon arrival, Guthmiller simply told reporters, "I guess it's ... good to be back," before embracing his mother on the tarmac. The stretch from Honolulu to El Cajon was the longest in Guthmiller's itinerary.

Guthmiller's flight isn't over, even though he's back in America. From El Cajon, Guthmiller will fly to Las Vegas, back to El Cajon, then onto Seattle, before ultimately ending the historic journey in his hometown of Aberdeen. He is still awaiting official confirmation from the Guinness Book of World Records to determine if he is the youngest person to fly solo around the world, although the designation is a near certainty.

Guthmiller will turn 19 on July 24.

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