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MIT student seeks flight record

Matthew Guthmiller is greeted by a wellwisher has he disembarks from his plane after landing in Manila on Monday.

Francis R. Malasig/EPA

Matthew Guthmiller is greeted by a wellwisher has he disembarks from his plane after landing in Manila on Monday.

Matt Guthmiller, a 19-year-old who just completed his freshman year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, arrived in Manila on Tuesday on his quest to become the youngest person to fly solo around the globe.

The current Guinness world record holder, Ryan Campbell of Australia, was 19 years, seven months, and 25 days old when he completed his feat a year ago; Guthmiller will be that age on July 24.

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The stop in Manila is on track with the itinerary he plotted when he took off from El Cajon, Calif., near San Diego, on May 27. He had some trouble in Nagpur, India, where maintenance workers refueled the plane, a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza, with engine oil instead of aviation fuel. “But it was all sorted out in the end,” Guthmiller told AFP.

Manila is the 13th leg of a 23-leg journey that is ultimately planned to finish on July 17 in Aberdeen, S.D. To date, Guthmiller has traveled 13,890 miles, or a little over half the globe.

He is raising money through a nonprofit organization, limitless.org, to fund the trip, which is expected to cost $145,000. Guthmiller’s goal is to raise $250,000 and donate excess funds to code.org, a nonprofit organization that promotes the teaching of computer skills.

Bennie DiNardo
can be reached at bennie.dinardo@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @bdinardo.
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