Jennifer Murray

Jennifer Murray (born June 1940 in Providence, Rhode Island) is a pilot. In 2000 she circumnavigated the globe in a Robinson R44 helicopter, traveling 36,000 miles in 97 days, earning her the Guinness World Record for the first helicopter circumnavigation by a woman.

Jennifer Murray
BornJune 1940
Known forFirst helicopter circumnavigation of the globe by a woman
Spouse(s)Simon Murray

Fastest circumnavigationEdit

Display about her flight, at Oakland Aviation Museum.
Map of her route (in white) around the world as displayed at Oakland Aviation Museum. (The red route is that of Linda Finch's flight the same year)

In August 1997, Murray became the first woman to fly a helicopter around the world, when she co-piloted her Robinson R44 with Quentin Smith on the eastward circumnavigation.[1] The 97-day flight was also an eastbound speed record for a piston-powered helicopter.[2][3] The flight departed from Denham, UK, on 10 May 1997, and her stopover at Oakland Airport, Ca., USA on 20 July is commemorated at the Oakland Aviation Museum. On 6 September 2000, Murray became the first woman to make a solo flight around the world in a helicopter and the first person to do so without autopilot.[2]

Pole to poleEdit

In 2007, Murray and co-pilot Colin Bodill became the first to land a helicopter on both North and South Poles, their second attempt. Their first, in 2003, ended in a near fatal crash in Antarctica, after Murray had just become the first woman to fly a helicopter to the South Pole.[2][4]

RacingThePlanet NepalEdit

At 71, Jennifer was an entrant for RacingThePlanet Nepal, a 250 km Ultramarathon starting on 20 November 2011. She withdrew after stage two.[5]


She is the granddaughter of Sir William Mather, the British industrialist who was chairman of Mather & Platt.[6]

She married prominent Hong Kong businessman Simon Murray in 1966.

Awards and honoursEdit

  • Rhode Island Aviation Hall of Fame Inductee 2005
  • The Gambia issued a postage stamp in her honour in 2004
  • Royal Aero Club - 1997 Silver Medal, 2000 Britannia Trophy
  • Brabazon Cup
  • Harmon Trophy
  • Inducted in Forest of Friendship


  1. ^ FAI rules, i.e. no equatorial crossing, no antipodes
  2. ^ a b c "World beater: marking Jennifer Murray's special helicopter feat". Helicopters. 3 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Piston-powered Helo Makes it Around the World". Flying. No. Nov 1997. November 1997. p. 34.
  4. ^ "Colin Bodill Bronze Medal". Royal Humane Society. Archived from the original on 2007-12-07. Retrieved 2007-11-18.
  5. ^ "Himalayan challenge left tough competitor stricken". Ross-shire Journal. 19 December 2011. Archived from the original on 2 February 2012.
  6. ^ MacCarthy, Fiona (2006). Last Curtsey: The End of the Debutantes. London: Faber. p. 370. ISBN 9780571265817.

External linksEdit