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Flight from Hawaii ends record around-the-world journey

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 06:45 a.m. HST, Jul 15, 2014

SAN DIEGO >> A South Dakota teen may have become the youngest person to fly solo around the world.

Matt Guthmiller, 19, completed the more than 29,000-mile journey in a leased single-engine airplane late Monday night when he touched down at Gillespie Field in El Cajon, California.

Guthmiller made about two dozen stops in 14 countries during the journey that began May 31, according to his mother, Shirley, who greeted her son after his 16-hour final leg flight from Honolulu, Hawaii.

"Of course he looked tired," Shirley Guthmiller said. "I'm very relieved he is home, but I wasn't worried."

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineering student was sleeping late Tuesday morning, she said.

Matt Guthmiller took an early interest in aviation and was 16 when got his pilot's license.

"As a little kid, he was afraid to go down to the basement," said his father, Allen Guthmiller. "It's amazing how kids change. Now he's not afraid of anything."

Guthmiller's parents said he's sending documentation to Guinness World Records, which must confirm that he broke the record. Guinness did not immediately return telephone calls from The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The previous record was set by Australian Ryan Campbell who was 19 years, seven months and 25 days old when he completed his circumnavigation last year. Guthmiller will be that age on July 24.

Shirley Guthmiller said Campbell helped her son in planning the trip. Guthmiller began in El Cajon and headed for his hometown, where he graduated from high school last year.

"He made his first stop in Aberdeen and then headed out for the rest of the world," Allen Guthmiller said.

He kept in daily contact with his parents by satellite telephone. He also routinely posted updates on social media.

"I'm proud of him and I really wasn't worried," his father said. "He had a good plane and a good plan."

Guthmiller's flight will help raise money for Code.org, a nonprofit website that helps teach people about computer coding, his father said.

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WKAMA wrote:
I guess another young person will now try to break this persons record so he/she too can be able to get into the Guinness book of records.
on July 15,2014 | 07:47AM
cojef wrote:
At 16 took flying lessons, must be rich to be able to afford to rent a plane, let alone have family meet him in California. They are from South Dakota, so must have mineral rights and big wheat farmer. After the election and when the Keystone Pipeline is approved the fracking begins. More earthquakes will ensue.
on July 15,2014 | 12:26PM
DRH wrote:
He is from Aberdeen SD - what mineral rights and pipeline? -- Wrong part of the state. He is doing this to raise money for a charity, and the charity is covering expenses. How about all the wealthy Hawaiian families who meet in Los Vegas - not to celebrate something a family member accomplished, but just to throw their money at a casino. They must be the wealthy ones. And Keala Fung - what charity is she supporting?
on July 15,2014 | 10:11PM
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