Teen's history-making solo flight around the world - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Teen's history-making solo flight around the world

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Nineteen-year-old MIT student Matt Guthmiller made history Monday night by becoming the youngest pilot to fly around the world, completing his 44-day journey by landing at Gillespie Field.

Dozens came out Monday to congratulate the globe-trotting airman, who received his pilot's license at age 16.

CBS News 8 spoke to Guthmiller before he took off from the same airport on May 31.

"About this time last year I read about another guy that was doing it and thought, I could do that," said Matt before embarking on his record-setting trek.

"I guess the biggest thing I want to accomplish is just to go out and inspire other people to do similarly ambitious things," Matt added.

"It's fast efficient, it's an incredibly well cared for airplane," said Mike Borden.

Mike Borden owns El Cajon-based High Performance Aircraft. He's leasing the A-36 Beach Craft Bonanza to Matt for his trip.

"After meeting Matt, and flying with him. I was very impressed with him as an individual. He's dynamic, he's incredibly smart. He's very capable, very passionate about aviation," said Mike.

Ambitious may be an understatement when it comes to Matt. The MIT freshman started writing code in the 5th grade. A few years later, he was producing algorithms that could predict oil prices. So, it's no wonder that the money he's raising is going to code.org - foundation dedicated to teaching people to write computer code.

"Just really, really excited. It's been a long time planning, few days of sort of paperwork delays, and it's finally happening so it's exciting. Kind of a relief I guess," said Matt.

His trip took over a month and a half, and included exciting locales such as London, India, Bangkok, even Egypt.

"I'm looking forward to Europe. I've wanted to go there for quite awhile. I think that's gong to be kind of fun. I'm also looking forward to Egypt. I also like ancient history so I think that's going to be cool too," said Matt before he left El Cajon at the end of May.

He also said he was hoping to inspire young people to take off, in their own special way.

"You don't have to be old to go out and do something big. If you put your mind to it, you can break it down and go out and do something like flying solo around the world," added Matt.

If you want to follow Matt's journey, CLICK HERE >>


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