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HISTORIC ARTICLE
HISTORIC ARTICLE

Jul 17, 1938 CE: Wrong-Way Corrigan

Jul 17, 1938 CE: Wrong-Way Corrigan

On July 17, 1938, aviator Douglas Corrigan departed from Brooklyn, New York, for a cross-country trip to California—but landed in Dublin, Ireland, the next day.

Grades

5 - 8

Subjects

Geography, Physical Geography

Selected text level

On July 17, 1938, aviator Douglas Corrigan departed from Brooklyn, New York, United States, for a cross-country trip west, to the state of California—but landed more than 5,000 kilometers (3,000 miles) east ... in Dublin, Ireland, the next day. “Wrong-Way” Corrigan blamed his transatlantic flight on heavy clouds that disrupted his navigation, but most people don’t think it was a mistake at all. Corrigan was a skilled aircraft mechanic and experienced pilot. Inspired by Charles Lindbergh, Corrigan put together his own plane from spare parts. His plane had no radio, the compass was 20 years old, and Corrigan couldn’t even see out of the plane’s windshield—his fuel tanks were mounted there. His application to fly across the Atlantic Ocean was denied. Corrigan claimed he realized his “error” 10 or 12 hours into his flight—too long to turn back. He safely landed in Dublin 28 hours after he departed from New York. He took a ship back to the U.S.

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National Geographic Society
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National Geographic Society
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Last Updated

August 9, 2022

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