Afghan Refugee Completes Historic Flight Around the World
Overcoming war and poverty, Shaesta Waiz hopes her personal struggle for the skies will inspire the next generation of women.
Beating the odds is not a new concept for Captain Shaesta Waiz. She escaped war as a child during the Afghan-Soviet conflict, is the first in her family to attend college, the first Afghan woman to be a certified civilian pilot, and now—at 30—the youngest woman in history to fly solo around the globe in a single-engine plane.
The journey took Waiz 145 days, 22 countries, and one single-engine 2001 Beechcraft Bonanza A36 aircraft. On Wednesday evening, October 4th, she touched down to complete her circumnavigation. She landed in Daytona Beach, Florida, the city where she first pursued her dream of aviation, at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Waiz’s trip took her to India and Singapore, where she spent afternoons with fellow female pilots