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On July 17, 1938, aviator Douglas Corrigan departed from Brooklyn, New York, for a cross-country trip west, to 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.
aviator
Noun

pilot of an aircraft.

Noun

visible mass of tiny water droplets or ice crystals in Earth's atmosphere.

Noun

instrument used to tell direction.

depart
Verb

to leave.

disrupt
Verb

to interrupt.

fuel
Noun

material that provides power or energy.

inspire
Verb

to influence to act.

mechanic
Noun

person who builds or repairs machinery and vehicles.

Noun

art and science of determining an object's position, course, and distance traveled.

pilot
Noun

person who steers a ship or aircraft.

transatlantic
Adjective

across the Atlantic Ocean.

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