Visiting Iceland’s famous plane wreck
Iceland is of program ideal recognised for currently being the ‘Land of Fire and Ice’, thanks to its lots of volcanoes and glaciers. There are nonetheless some other fascinating and to some degree unusual points of interest, and a single of these is the airplane wreck on Sólheimasandur, a black beach front on the south coastline of Iceland.
It’s about a 20-moment generate from Vik but to start with a shout-out for The Soup Business in Vik where we to start with stopped for some lunch before going to the plane wreck.
The Soup Firm is a terrific position to consider Iceland’s famous pink scorching lava soup. It is their signature beef goulash soup, is complete of flavour and comes in a black lava bread bowl with yoghurt on the facet.
But they do a lot of other soups, far too, these as an Icelandic lamb soup, a curried fish soup with Iceland cod and shrimps, and an Indian winter season soup (with carrots, onions, lentils, coconut product, crushed pineapple and Indian herbs and spices). If you just can’t make a decision, just pick the tasting menu (for one) wherever you get to attempt a few soups in three bowls.
Whatever you pick out, they are healthful and filling, and they’ll even refill your bowl if you’d like additional!
Experience suitably refreshed, we hopped back into the automobile and manufactured our way west along Route 1 to see the plane wreck.
But to start with, I’ll give a tiny history to the crash. It was back again in 1973 that a US Navy transport aircraft ran into problem and crash-landed on the seaside at Sólheimasandur. The plane was traveling from Hofn Hornafjördur Airport to Naval Air Station Keflavik, just after offering provides to the radar station at Stokksnes. Even though documented as the wreck of a Douglas DC-3, it is in fact the stays of a converted Douglas C-117.
Unique theories abound as to what prompted the crash. The Airline Safety Community states theat the airplane experienced critical icing, resulting in the crew staying not able to maintain altitude, forcing thet plane to land. Some say, however, that the crash occurred because of a failure by a single of the pilots when switching among fuel tanks, resulting in the plane working out of gasoline and currently being forced to land. Seemingly there was thick fog and visibility was so inadequate that there ended up moments when the crew was unable to see the recommendations of the wings.
There’s even confusion on the date of the crash. Several reports say it arrived down on 24th November 1973, yet the Icelandic newspaper Morgunblaðið reviews, on the 22nd November 1973, that it experienced crashed the working day just before the date of publication. This day of 21st November 1973 appears to be to be correct, and is backed up by the Aviation Security Network summary.
Whatever occurred, and on whichever day, each crew member survived devoid of major injuries and the remains of the plane were deserted on the beach front. The airplane was subsequently stripped by the US Navy of nearly anything of worth, but the key fuselage nevertheless lies the place the aircraft crashed. It has formerly been applied as storage by the farmer whose land it experienced crashed on, as well as for concentrate on practice by nearby hunters (which accounts for the bullet holes you may possibly see), but has because become a tourist attraction in its personal right, likely served by coverage it has received in songs films and on Tv (see underneath).
You employed to be ready to push all the way to the crash site, or even remain overnight there, but both equally are no more time attainable. While it is positioned on non-public land, you can, however, even now take a look at and there is a big car park just off the major Route 1 ring street.
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Most people today stop by on foot from here, but there is the option to take the Aircraft Wreck Shuttle. While persons waited a short when for this when we were there, it quickly materialised that it was not managing. In the previous, there has been the possibility to use a ‘fat bike’ but we noticed no evidence of this at the time of our check out.
A signal tells guests that it takes 3-4 hrs to hike both of those methods. This doesn’t feel all that reasonable in my feeling – on a very good working day, I think it can be carried out one particular way in about 30 minutes if going for walks briskly or in just an hour if walking at a extra comfortable rate. That explained, most likely a generous time estimate is specified for excellent rationale since the weather can improve swiftly and can adversely affect visibility, so it’s very best to err on the side of warning. Do consider care – an American vacationer died in 2017 shut to the plane, as did two Chinese travellers in their early 20s in 2020, presumably caught out by adverse weather conditions. It’s consequently a very good concept to test Iceland’s temperature assistance (vedur.is) in advance of venturing out. And really don’t fail to remember the unexpected emergency quantity in Iceland which is 112.
The path to the aircraft wreck is more clearly outlined at present than it has been in the previous, served by occasional reflective markers in the floor, ideally lowering the threat of individuals obtaining shed. As walks go, it’s not a incredibly interesting one – you’re basically going for walks about a glacial outwash simple that seems to be like this.
At some point, immediately after about two miles of this practically post-apocalyptic landscape, the route monitor veers to the remaining and the airplane arrives into watch in the length.
When we arrived, there have been people climbing all in excess of it. I have read through that this is unlawful but am not positive if this is true. No matter, I wouldn’t advocate it – to begin with, there are areas of the plane that did not seem really steady secondly, it would not be a fantastic area to slip and twist an ankle (or worse however, crack a leg) and thirdly, it’s just not very thoughtful to other people checking out and seeking to get pictures.
Whilst the plane wreck is quite exciting to see and glimpse all-around, I really don’t imagine you’ll will need that extensive there the moment you have found it. It is a fascinating scene in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by mile upon mile of nothingness – just black sand as far as the eye can see.
You can see inside of the dilapidated fuselage. Seemingly the plane served in the two Korean and Vietnamese wars right before remaining deployed to Iceland’s Keflavik Airport.
As opposed to quite a few of Iceland’s attractions, the plane wreck differtiates itself simply because it is completely artificial, providing a hanging contrast with its otherwise untouched all-natural natural environment.
This surreal scene – a grey fuselage set versus a black backdrop and usually a gray sky, appears a lot more like a scene from a science fiction motion picture that it does actuality. For this motive also, of system, it represents a photographer’s paradise.
For a number of several years, the community Icelandic men and women did not regard the wreckage to be anything of worldwide interest and fascination and even discussed have it removed due to the fact it was a blot on an in any other case untouched and pristine landscape.
Given its enduring acceptance presently, it would seem unlikely that this will at any time take place. Nonetheless, I’m guaranteed quite a few would query the attraction in viewing this wreck presented the numerous all-natural wonders that you could visit in Iceland in its place.
Possibly it’s the otherworldly landscape that the wreck is established in as properly as the secret that surrounds the crash that adds to the intrigue. A single point for certain is that the publicity that the wreck has obtained through various media has definitely amplified consciousness of, and fascination in, the internet site. Probably most famously of all, Justin Bieber’s movie for the track I’ll Exhibit You capabilities him skateboarding on the major of it. Enjoy from 2 mins 11 seconds.
The audio video for the tune Gerua in the Bollywood movie Diwale sees actors Shah Rukh Khan (aka SRK) and Kajol posing on major of the aircraft. Look at from 1 min 31 seconds.
And the new music video for the music Permit Me In, from Korean lady team Loona, also functions the airplane. Look at from 53 seconds.
Mercurio by Emis Killa is but yet another songs online video to aspect the wreck. Look at from 1m 38 seconds.
Finally, the aircraft wreck also appears when Mikael encounters it in the Netflix sci-fi drama, Katla.
Organizing a journey to Iceland yourself? You can observe a video from our journey to Iceland below. You can briefly see footage of the aircraft wreck amongst 5m 23s and 5m 29s:
Disclosure: Our trip to Iceland was also sponsored by Helly Hansen.