A New Jersey resident and pilot Thomas Fitzgerald was drinking in a New York city bar when someone proposed a bet to him that he couldn’t make it from New Jersey to New York in 15 minutes. He went to extreme measure to prove his drinking buddy wrong…..twice!
At 3am on September 30th 1956, Thomas Fitzgerald snuck into the Teterboro School of Aeronautics in New Jersey and stole a single engined plane. He then flew it back to NYC and made a perfect landing with no radio or lights on St. Nicholas Avenue. For this stunt, Thomas was fined a laughable $100.
This might be the reason why on October 4th 1958 while drinking in the same bar, when another drinking partner disbelieved his first escapade, he stole another plane from the same airfield and completed the same stunt. For this one Fitzpatrick wasn’t so lucky, he received 6 months in prison.
There is now a drink named after Mr. Fitzpatrick ‘The Late Night Flight’, a suiting name!