Sólheimasandur Plane Wreckage
If you have ever been on Instagram or Pinterest, then you have most likely seen a photo of the 1973 DC-3 crash in Iceland. The carcass of this Cold War plane still haunts the largely barren black sand beach upon which it was forced to land. Nearly 44 years later, the plane has been beaten raw by decades of violent polar storms and bullet holes. All that remains of the original C-117 are the hollowed-out fuselage, coiled wires, and the now faint lettering "UNITED STATES NAVY" on the skeleton.
On an island acclaimed for its rainbow-arched waterfalls, extensive whimsical landscapes, and dancing northern lights, this decomposing shell has become one of the most iconic and most photographed sites in all of Iceland. In more ways than one, this odd tourist attraction is worthy of its title. A US military plane finding its resting place in one of the most unique, but unlikely landscapes on earth is strangely beautiful. The juxtaposition of the leftover aircraft with the bleak terrain is a completely surreal panorama.
The scenery is marred with violent stories of volcanic eruptions hundreds of years ago. All that is left is dark sand beaches upon which nothing lives or grows. The plane isn’t visible by its visitors until the last moment of a long hike. This means that for a solid hour tourists are walking through a completely desolate landscape. And then, just like that, there she is, sitting on the beach with glaciers behind her on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. The entire experience is picturesque and apocalyptic all at the same time.
"Climbing into the fuselage, I couldn't help but wonder: What had happened here all those years ago? How could a US military plane come to be abandoned here, in the most unlikely of places?"
"If you are asking yourself the same questions, then not to worry. I read every article I could find about the history of this plane.. outloud... to my travel companion... the entire rest of the long road trip on the Ring Road. I wouldn't say he loved my history reading.... but I did. I was beyond fascinated with this story.
I read everything from Russians downing the spy plane to the pilot pressing the wrong fuel button. In the end, I came to the conclusion that neither of the aforementioned hypothesis were correct. READ MORE from my research regarding the true story of the plane crash and its survivors HERE. And for more tips on visiting the plane as well as instructions on how to get to the crash site, READ HERE." xoxo KB