Wrong Way Corrigan: His Tranatlantic journy in the 1930s

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nagirroC yaW gnorW (Wrong Way Corrigan)

On the foggy morning of July 17,1938, a 31-year-old pilot named Douglas Corrigan took off from Brooklyn's Floyd Bennett Field on a solo, nonstop trip to California. Twenty-eight hours later, he landed in Ireland... with a whole lot of explaining to do. He had no passport or papers of any kind, nor had he received permission from U.S officials to make the transatlantic flight.

Safely on the ground, Corrigan offered this explanation to Irish customs: Heavy fog in New York had forced him to navigate using only his compass. The fog continued all of that day and into the night; there was never any good visibility. When the sun rose the next morning, 26 hours into his flight, he was surprised to find himself over an ocean. Taking a closer look at his compass, Corrigan realized he'd been following the wrong end of the needle, heading due east instead of west! But by now, he was almost out of fuel; he could not turn around.

His only hope was to keep heading east and hope to find some land before he ran out of gasoline. Two hours later saw fishing boats off a rocky coast and knew he would be alright. From there, he made his way to Baldonnel Airport in Dublin. His first words upon exiting the plane were, "Just got in from New York. Where am I?

He repeated the story to the American Ambassador and then to Ireland's prime minister. By this third telling, to the Irish cabinet, the European and American press had gotten wind of the outrageous story and ran with it. When Corrigan got to the part about totally misreading his compass, the cabinet ministers all laughed and Corrigan knew that everything would work out.