18 August 2021
Travelling in a Shark ultralight aircraft the young pilot set off from her base at Kortrijk in Belgium and made her first stop at Popham airfield which is close to St Swithun’s. From there she flies to Wick via Aberdeen before heading for Iceland. Her route will take her through 52 countries over two or three months depending on the weather.
Zara qualified as a pilot last year and hopes her world record attempt will inspire other girls and young women to pursue their dreams. She particularly hopes to encourage more females to take up flying or enter STEM-related careers. If she successfully completes her journey, she will also become the youngest person ever to circumnavigate the world in a microlight aircraft.
Having gained A levels in mathematics, further mathematics, economics and physics at St Swithun’s, Zara is planning to study computer science or computer engineering at university following her round the world adventure.
Headmistress of St Swithun’s Jane Gandee said ‘Zara embodies everything that St Swithun’s stands for namely working with quiet self-confidence to achieve something extraordinary. She has seized an opportunity where others might have seen only obstacles and in so doing she has caught the imagination of our supportive school community. We are all following her progress closely.’