I recently happened across this fascinating article: The Long Way Round: The Plane that Accidentally Circumnavigated the World
After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, the crew of Pan Am flight 18602 were forced to do something almost impossible: return to America the long way round….
The sudden burst of sound from the radio caught the controller by surprise and he scrambled to try and stop his cup of coffee from falling to the floor.
LAGUARDIA TOWER LAGUARDIA TOWER. THIS IS PAN AMERICAN CLIPPER NC18602 INBOUND FROM AUCKLAND NEW ZEALAND. DUE TO ARRIVE PAN AMERICAN MARINE TERMINAL LAGUARDIA IN SEVEN MINUTES. OVER.
The confused controller gave up trying and let the cup drop, shattering on the floor.
This made no sense, he thought. It was still before six and there were no seaplane flights due. Then, a new wave of confusion hit him: New Zealand was — almost literally — on the other side of the world from New York. There was no Pan Am route between those two places. No airline flew that far from the East Coast!
Wonderful article. Click through and check it out if you have a moment.