Mathew Guthmiller Visits Eastland

Youngest Pilot To Fly Solo Around World Visits Eastland Airpot


By Jason Walston

On Saturday, June 27, a legend, Matthew Guthmiller, visited Eastland Municipal Airport.  

Matthew Guthmiller is the youngest pilot to fly solo around the world.  He accomplished this amazing journey at 19 years of age and is recorded in the Guinness World Records for his feat.  The task was not easy, as Matthew explained during his presentation to those who came out to see him.  Matthew added that just getting the funds and sponsor backing was a challenge in its self.   He said his family was supportive of his decision to make his solo flight; a decision some would consider just a crazy dream.  

Just getting the funding and finding a 1981 Beechcraft A36 Bonanza to make the journey was still not enough.  The aircraft needed to be modified for extended flight and was retrofitted with fuel tanks right behind the front seats along with more modern avionic equipment.  The engine was also modified so Matthew could add oil from the cabin in case of spills and long distance flying. Matthew told the story of how he endured Oreos and Coke as a diet to keep alert while piloting the modified plane.  

Matthew’s journey started out at El Cajon, California and finally, after circling the globe, landing in Dumas, Texas.  Matthew explained that during the ocean flights he had to wear a special suit incase the plane went down. The suit would keep him from freezing in the waters, if he needed to deploy a life raft.  

Matthew added how amazed and honored he was by the support given to him on his journey by people all over the globe. He also mentioned communications issues, not just with languages, but with navigation along the way. Mostly he relied on his instincts to keep on track.  

Matthew is an inspiration to everyone.  It shows that with hard work and dedication, you can accomplish anything your heart desires.  We thank the young man for bringing such a wonderful story to our part of the world and hope he continues to be a icon for future generations to come.  To see more about Matthew go to his website at To see a video of this story go to