On July 17, 1938, pioneer aviator Donald Corrigan took off from Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn — New York City’s first municipal airport — with a flight plan for a return trip to his previous disembarkation point, Long Beach, California. His official story was that he got confused after ten (or 26) hours in flight, and wound up the next day in Ireland. Most folks judged his “error” as deliberate, but he never publicly admitted to anything but error. He was nicknamed “‘Wrong Way’ Corrigan,” an affectionate moniker, and received a 14-day suspension of his pilot’s license as punishment for his breaking of many, many regulations.
One occasionally hears the epithet “Wrong Way Corrigan” applied to anyone who similarly takes a slight liberty, skirting official rules or practices — or simply goes the wrong way.