Helo Pilots Finish Polar Circumnavigation Flight
British pilot adventurers Jennifer Murray and Colin Bodill completed a 36,000-mile polar circumnavigation flight on Thursday at the Bell Helicopter facility in Fort Worth, Texas. The pair started Polar Firstfrom Fort Worth Dec. 5, heading south to catch Antarctica at its best before heading up the other side of the earth toward the North Pole and a late spring arrival there. They flew a Bell 407 helicopter. It was their second attempt at the record after the first try ended in a crash in whiteout conditions in Antarctica in 2003. Both pilots were seriously injured in that crash but said they were determined to try again. Murray and Bodill have both done east-west circumnavigations, Murray in a Robinson R44 helicopter in 2000 and Bodill in a weight-shift ultralight also in 2000. Murray, who’s 65, didn’t start flying until she was 54.