Corrigan Took off on a Runway Pointing East
Just prior to Corrigan’s 5:15 a.m. take-off, he asked the Floyd Bennett Field manager, Kenneth P. Behr, to point him to the runway he should use. Behr apparently directed him to runways pointing to the east, not to the west in the direction of California. This was not necessarily uncommon. Pilots would simply bank their airplanes and head in the right direction once in flight. Corrigan, however, took off going east and never turned around. For an experienced aviator, not knowing the difference between east and west is a rookie mistake. Behr later publicly stated that he had no prior knowledge that Corrigan may fly to Europe, but many witnesses stated that Behr had wished Corrigan a “Bon Voyage”, perhaps as a way to acknowledge that Corrigan would be flying across the pond.