'Wrong Way' Corrigan's plane leaves Orange County; soon to be in museum

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Famed aviator Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan's historic plane made one final "flight" into a moving truck before heading soon to a museum. (KABC)

Famed aviator Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan's historic plane made one final "flight" into a moving truck before heading soon to a museum.

Inside a nondescript garage at a home in Santa Ana, there is a piece of American history: a rare Curtiss Robin monoplane that was built in the late '20s or early '30s. What makes this one even more special is where it's been.

"He helped build Lindbergh's plane, so he knew how to put together a plane modified for long distances," explained Harry Corrigan.

Harry Corrigan is the son of famed aviator Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan. After helping build the "Spirit of St. Louis," Douglas Corrigan began building his own plane, one he bought for $900. He named it "Sunshine," making several modifications in hopes of getting permission to fly from New York to Ireland. He was repeatedly denied.

"His motto was 'good enough,' and he would put things together if they worked, that was fine," Harry Corrigan said.

In July of 1938, Douglas Corrigan left New York for his flight plan to Long Beach; but instead, 28 hours later, he landed in Dublin, Ireland. He told authorities he went the wrong way because of a navigation mistake and heavy clouds. It's widely reported that all the way to his death, he never admitted publicly that he took the flight to Dublin on purpose.

"Don't think he ever came out and said, yeah I did it on purpose, but I'm fairly, fairly certain he did," Harry Corrigan said.

Douglas Corrigan's pilot license was suspended for just 14 days, and he was greeted back in the United States with a ticker tape parade and hailed as a hero.

"Amelia Earhart had been lost not too long before, and I think the idea that somebody was successful helped pick up the country a bit," Harry Corrigan said.

"Sunshine" made one final flight into a moving truck and into storage while Harry Corrigan decides in what museum it'll land. He wants to honor his father's memory and preserve the "wrong way" legacy.
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