Sam caught the flying bug early and had his first flying lesson at 13, with first solo at 16. He left school early to join the British Army Air Corps, flying helicopters for eight years on operations around the world. At 25, dodging promotion to a desk, he signed off and organised an expedition from London to Sydney with two pink Land Rovers and a weight shift microlight. He has been involved in ‘complicated logistics’ worldwide (personally visiting 140+ countries) ever since. He holds plane and helicopter commercial licences, with over 3000 flight hours. His tendancy to desk-avoidance continues though the shackles are getting heavier!
Photographer & Social Media
Beatrice De Smet was born in Belgium and trained as a lawyer. She lived in multiple countries such as Italy,
France, Botswana and the UK and travelled extensively and passionately over the
last 20 years, mainly through Africa and Asia. From driving 4x4’s throughout the
Sahara desert, Western & Southern Africa to flying in Africa multiple times with a
single or group of small planes, she also conceived and lead the Jordanian Wadi
Rum Horseback Expedition. She holds a PPL, is a keen photographer and has an
extensive photographic record of all her travels. She speaks fluent Dutch, French,
English and commands some Italian. She is married to Sam Rutherford and they
have 2 wonderful children.
Flight Operation Director
Maxime Scarcez, 24, is Belgian and was born in Brussels. He followed his pilot's training at the Sabena Flight
Academy and now holds an ATPL(A). He was awarded with the title of Best
Student pilot in flight training and Best Student overal by the flight school. He is
currently doing a bachelor degree in business administration at ICHEC in Brussels
and planning to major in Entrepreneurship. Passionate about aviation, he is
thrilled to work on the Ushuaia2USA Rally.
Events & Design
Estelle, 23 years old, born and bred in Brussels. Graduated from the European Communication School, she made the best of her student years by having internships abroad and finishing her university in Shanghai, China. Since her youngest age she’s been travelling all around the world, experiencing life. She now works for the VintageAirRally and can’t wait for the next trip to happen.
Jeremy Martin, 26, was born in London UK but lived for the majority of his life between the US & Canada. His passion in adrenaline-fueled filmmaking brought him to join the VintageAirRally team. He speaks English, French, and Spanish and holds a BA in Political Science from Concordia University Montreal and MA in TV Journalism from City University London.
IT & Flight Operations
Steven Olivier, born in Ghent, Belgium. Interested in technology from an early age, started writing his own computer programs at the age of 12. It came as no surprise that Steven went on studying Information Technology, specialising in the field of Cyber Security. He speaks Dutch, English and French. Since the day a friend took him for a flight in a micro-light a seemingly unreachable dream became reality. He has been flying micro-light aircrafts for several years now. Steven also enjoys sporting outdours and travelling including some advanced trekkings in the Andes and the Himalayas.
Kieran MacRury-Gandhi, 22 was born in London, growing up in the north highlands of Scotland and coming from a very mixed heritage. Having travelled extensively from such a young age, he has the passion of adventure embedded in him. Kieran joined the team recently after having lived in Australia for one year and travelling through multiple southern asian countries.
Vinnie the Vulture
Vinnie is the team mascot, our direct link to the world’s vultures and one way we hope to raise awareness of the threat they face. He’s becoming increasingly experienced, spending time with each team on the VintageAirRally events. Vinnie usually wears his pilot apparel, but has a Dinner Jacket for formal occasions. He occasionally gets a good clean but is usually pretty grubby by the end of each Rally!