Don’t take this man for granted,Fitzpatrick has a mixed drink named after him for his feat called the “Late Night Flight”
On September 30, 1956 after drinking heavily at a bar in New York City, Fitzpatrick made an intoxicated barroom bet that he could travel from New Jersey to New York City in 15 minutes. At approximately 3 a.m. he stole a single engine plane from the Teterboro School of Aeronautics in New Jersey and flew without lights or radio before landing on St. Nicholas Avenue near 191st Street in front of the bar where the bet was made. The New York Times called it a “fine landing” and a “feat of aeroneutics”. For his illegal flight, he was fined $100 after the plane‘s owner refused to press charges.
Fitzpatrick was a Marine during the Korean War and received a Purple Heart. He has three sons and was married to his wife, Helen, for 51 years working as a steamfitter. He died in 2009 at the age of 79.
On October 4, 1958 just before 1 a.m., Fitzpatrick again stole another plane from the same airfield and landed on Amsterdam and 187th street in front of a Yeshiva University building after another bar patron disbelieved his first feat. For his second stolen flight, judge John A. Mullen sentenced him to six months in prison stating, “Had you been properly jolted then, it’s possible this would not have occurred a second time.”