Helen MacCloskey Rough, 67, a pioneer in aviation, died Feb. 17 at George Washington University Hospital after a long illness.

She was the widow of Howard F. Rough, also a pilot and a government aviation official, who died in 1969.

Born in Pittsburgh, Mrs. Rough graduated from Wellesley College and attended Columbia University. In 1931, she was one of the first women fliers to win a transport pilot's license.

During the 1930s, she took part in air shows and derbies, doing stunt flying and racing. She set a number of national and world records for speed and altitude flying.

In 1935, she was one of those appointed by the Bureau of Air Commerce to fly around the country helping cities to plan rooftop signs to aid pilots in flight. She retired from professional flying after her marriage to Mr. Rough in 1937.

They had lived here most of the time since then, while also maintaining residences in Kitty Hawk, N.C. and Deerfield Beach, Fla. In 1950-52, they resided in Paris, France.

Mrs. Rough worked in the Washington offices of the Civil Air Patrol in 1942 and later during World War II was a volunteer ambulance driver for the American Red Cross.

In 1970, she was named a Pioneer of Aeronautics by the National Aviation Club. In 1975, she received an Outstanding Women's Award from the OX5 Aviation Pioneers.

Mrs. Rough also was an early member of the 99s, an international organization of women pilots organized by Amelia Earhart. She belonged to the Sportsman Pilots Association and the Congressional Country Club.

She is survived by a son, William Rough, of Danville, Vt.; a sister, Katharine Crocker, of Chevy Chase, and two grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Renal Research Fund at George Washington University Hospital.