After weather delays lasting 17 days,:52 the Bremen left Baldonnel Aerodrome, Ireland, on April 12 and flew to Greenly Island, Canada, arriving on April 13, after a flight fraught with difficult conditions and compass problems.
The crew was to be all-German. Ehrenfried Günther Freiherr von Hünefeld, a wealthy German aristocrat, and pilot Captain Hermann Köhl had made an attempted crossing together in 1927, but had to abandon it due to bad weather. For this new attempt, they enlisted as the navigator, Major James Fitzmaurice, of Ireland. Fitzmaurice had also attempted a previous crossing as co-pilot of the Princess Xenia with Robert McIntosh, but they had to abandon the attempt due to high headwinds in September 1927.:52
The clock in the lighthouse was remembered (by the family of the lighthouse keeper) as indicating 2 p.m. Atlantic Time when the Bremen was first sighted from the ground. Captain Köhl and Baron von Hünefeld said that they were in the air 36½ hours. If their statements of elapsed time had an accuracy of better than one minute, which is unlikely, then the time of touchdown was 18:08 GMT or 13:08 EST or 14:08 Atlantic Time.
Gretta May Ferris, a nurse from Saint John, New Brunswick, who was posted at nearby Forteau's Grenfell Medical Station, travelled by dogsled some 15 miles (24 km) to attend to the crew's medical needs; she was the first to write the story that was picked up by the international media saying that the Bremen had landed and that the crew were safe.
Alfred Cormier of Long Point (Lourdes-de-Blanc-Sablon), who operated the local telegraph office from his home, made contact with Marconi station VCL at Point Amour in Labrador—18 miles (29 km) east of Long Point. From there, his message went through St. John's, Newfoundland (at 6:30 p.m.) and Louisbourg, Nova Scotia. It was forwarded by land lines across Canada and via Radio Corporation of America (RCA) station WCC at Chatham, Massachusetts, for transmission to New York City.
The first message read: "German plane at Greenly Island, wind southeast, thick ."