Crashed US Navy C-117 (C-47) at Sólheimasandur, Iceland

This has become an iconic desitination for photographers visiting Iceland, so when I was planning my trip it was high on my list of places to check out. It's a couple of kilometres from the road, and is fairly easy to find although it is not visible from Route 1 (Þjóðvegur 1). The landscape is unremitting, unnaturally monochromatic, and the weather-scoured, buckshot-ridden body of the plane adds little extra colour to the scene on a grey day like this.

This particular plane crashed in November 1973 after running out of fuel: luckily everone survived the crash landing on the nearby beach. From what I understand it was a US Navy aircraft stationed at Keflavik; teams arrived to drag the aircraft from the beach to higher ground, where they then removed the engines, wings and instrumentation before leaving the fuselage on the black volcanic sands of Sólheimasandur.

The C-117D was a US Navy / US Marine Corps variant of the venerable C-47 (itself the military version of the classic DC-3 Dakota).

Further detailed information about this and other DC-3s in Iceland can be found on Ruud Leeuw's website.

[This is one of the panoramas from my June 2013 trip to Iceland. You can explore the other views of this incredible countryhere. https://www.360cities.net/sets/iceland-june-2013 ]

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Copyright: Joby catto
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 8192x4096
Uploaded: 19/01/2014
Updated: 28/03/2014


Tags: iceland; beach; volcanic; sand; airplane; plane; crash; fuselage; wreck; grey; navy; dakota; dc-3; c-117d; c-47; american
  • Joby Catto 9 months ago
    Thanks! It's a pretty amazing place… I'd recommend it to anyone going to Iceland. Worth the trek from the road…
  • Andrea Biffi 9 months ago
    That is awesome!!
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