Iceland DC3 plane wreck on Sólheimasandur beach

A US Navy DC-3 crashed on the black sand beaches of Iceland.

On November 24, 1973, a United States Navy Douglas DC-3 airplane crashed on Iceland’s Sólheimasandur black sand beach. The aircraft, flying from Höfn to Reykjavik, had no passengers, only carrying cargo, and was operated by four crew members. Fortunately, there were no fatalities, but the plane was severely damaged and never recovered.

The initial cause of the accident was severe icing which led to the aircraft running out of fuel due to a misreading of the fuel gauges. The crew then attempted to make an emergency landing on the Sólheimasandur black sand beach, but the aircraft hit the ground hard, causing severe damage to the fuselage.

The cargo, wings, engines, and cockpit have been removed, and the only remnants are the fuselage which is slowly decaying in the harsh Icelandic climate.

Iceland plane wreck uncensored

The wreckage of the DC-3 has remained on the beach largely untouched for several years, becoming a popular tourist attraction in the mid-2010s.

In recent years, however, the Icelandic government has restricted access to the site, as it has become a hazard for visitors, especially in winter. There have been numerous rescues of visitors at the site due to the harsh Icelandic weather that moves through the area.

I visited the plane wreck is probably the worst time of year – winter. The winds were easily 70kmph (45mph) with an average ambient temperature near 0C (30F). However, getting to the plane crash is relatively easy; a monster bus shuttles people from the roadside parking lot approximately 2km to the plane wreck every 30 minutes.

Despite all the challenges with this remote destination, the site remains a popular dark tourism destination for photographers and adventurers who seek to capture the eerie beauty of the abandoned plane in its stark, windswept surroundings.

Through the viewfinder

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