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Douglas Corrigan (January 22, 1907 – December 9, 1995) was an American aviator born in Galveston, Texas. He was nicknamed "Wrong Way" in 1938. After a transcontinental flight from Long Beach, California, to New York, he flew from Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, New York, to Ireland, though his flight plan was filed to return to Long Beach. He claimed his unauthorized flight was due to a navigational error, caused by heavy cloud cover that obscured landmarks and low-light conditions, causing him to misread his compass. However, he was a skilled aircraft mechanic (he was one of the builders of Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis) and had made several modifications to his own plane, preparing it for his transatlantic flight. He had been denied permission to make a nonstop flight from New York to Ireland, and his "navigational error" was seen as deliberate. Nevertheless, he never publicly admitted to having flown to Ireland intentionally.

The son of a construction engineer and a teacher, he was named Clyde Groce Corrigan after his father, but legally adopted the name Douglas as an adult. The family moved often, until his parents finally divorced and shared custody of their children. Corrigan finally settled with his mother, brother Harry, and sister Evelyn in Los Angeles. Quitting high school, he went to work in construction.

In October 1925, Corrigan saw people paying to be taken for short rides in a Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny" biplane near his home. He paid the $2.50 (equal to $31.32 today) for his own ride. A week later, he began flying lessons, spending non-flying time watching and learning from local aircraft mechanics. After twenty lessons, he made his first solo flight on March 25, 1926.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Douglas Corrigan."
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