Teen back home in SD after flight around world
ABERDEEN (AP) — A teen who flew solo around the world has returned home to South Dakota.
Matt Guthmiller, 19, flew into Aberdeen on Friday night and was greeted by about 100 people.
A fire truck sent out a long spout of water at the airport to welcome him home.
After he spoke with his girlfriend, he posed for photos with his parents and received a hug from his grandmother.
“Thanks. Good to be back. It’s been a long trip,” he told the crowd.
Guthmiller completed the journey in a single-engine airplane on July 14 when he touched down in California. He made about two dozen stops in 14 countries during the journey that began May 31.
“It was a lot of fun but a lot of work, too. It’s just really nice to be back,” he told the Aberdeen American News.
The Guinness Book of World Records has verified his status as the youngest pilot to circle the globe on a solo flight, the newspaper said.
Guthmiller estimated the trip totaled about 29,000 miles but “I haven’t added that up yet.”
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineering student won’t have too much time to enjoy home.
He leaves Sunday for an air show in Wisconsin but plans to be in Aberdeen throughout the summer.
Guthmiller said he was thankful for the support he’s received from his hometown as he traveled the world.
“My biggest goal, of course, was just to inspire other people to go out and do something big,” he said. “So hopefully all this excitement generates something like that, whether it’s someone else that decides to go fly around the world or come up with an idea and go start a company or something.”
Guthmiller’s flight will help raise money for Code.org, a nonprofit website that helps teach people about computer coding.