EL CAJON, Calif. - Matt Guthmiller has become the youngest person to fly solo around the world after touching down at Gillespie Field in El Cajon late Monday night.
The final leg of his flight was more than 15 hours solo across the Pacific Ocean from Kona, Hawaii to San Diego.
The new record-setting, 19-year-old solo pilot was all smiles as he was greeted by hugs from his mother after he taxied the plane. Exhausted and a bit overwhelmed by the media attention, he had few words.
"I guess it's … good to be back," he said.
The second-year MIT student flew solo for more than 29,000 miles in a plane specially-outfitted by El Cajon's High Performance Aircraft.
"We are extremely proud of Matt Guthmiller,” said Mike Borden, the president of High Performance Aircraft and one of the co-sponsors of Guthmiller's flight. "This is just one thing he's going to do in his lifetime."
As 10News first reported, Guthmiller left Gillespie Field on May 31 behind the controls of his 1981 Beechcraft A36 Bonanza. His goal was to return to Gillespie Field before July 26 to set the record.
Guthmiller flew from El Cajon to his hometown of Aberdeen, South Dakota before seeing the world and taking lots of photos along the way.
Based on photographs on his social media pages, he made stops in the United Kingdom, Rome, Athens, Cairo, Abu Dhabi, India, the Philippines, Australia, American Samoa and then to Hawaii, where he left early Monday morning headed back to San Diego.
His mother Shirley, who flew into town from South Dakota to watch her son's arrival, was no doubt beaming with joy.
"I am very proud of him and very happy to have him back," she told 10News.
She hopes to spend some quality time with him now that he is back on solid ground.