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 ]

View More »

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 10 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 10 months ago
    That is awesome!!
  • comments powered by Disqus

    Karel Gillissen
    Inside the cockpit of the crashed Dakota C47 in Iceland
    Karel Gillissen
    C47 plane crash on Iceland
    Johan Offermans & Karl Overholt
    Airplane wreckage on black beach Iceland
    Martin Hertel
    Crashed Plane
    Johan Offermans & Karl Overholt
    Airplane wreckage Iceland
    Jan Straka
    Crashed Douglas C-47 Skytrain on a beach
    Joby Catto
    Crashed US Navy C-117 (C-47) at Sólheimasandur, Iceland
    Johan Offermans & Karl Overholt
    Black Sand Beach Iceland
    Joby Catto
    Route 1 just before midnight, crossing Sólheimasandur in Suðurland, Iceland
    Gavin Farrell
    Sólheimajökulsvegur Glacier, Iceland 2013
    Gavin Farrell
    Sólheimajökulsvegur Glacier Part 3
    Jan Straka
    On Sólheimajökull glacier
    Stan Hillhouse
    Celarain Lighthouse / South Point of Cozumel Mexico
    Gregory Panayotou
    A Rainy Night at Ilot Maitre - New Caledonia
    Tomasz Makarewicz
    Karijini Dales Gorge - Circular Pool
    Seungsang Yoo(유승상)
    Badwater Death Valley California
    Hay Me
    Phenoix flower (Flame Flowe)
    Daniel Christaldi
    Bushy Park Racetrack
    Christian Bersano
    Maki Lodge Accueil Plage
    Akiyoshi Odagawa
    Uwe Wieteck
    Der schafberggipfel
    Johan Offermans & Karl Overholt
    Inside the Volcano
    kiyoharu takamura
    misty woods (japanese ceder)
    Jaime Brotons
    Last sun beams at Cala Escanar, Ibiza
    Joby Catto
    View 3 of ex-US Navy C-117D at Hnjótur, Örlygshöfn, Iceland
    Joby Catto
    Some informal panorama training in the beer garden
    Joby Catto
    Looking across the bay from Dyrhólaey near Reynisfjara, Iceland
    Joby Catto
    Kerið crater lake in summer sun, Iceland
    Joby Catto
    View from the upper circle at Hulme Hippodrome, June 2013
    Joby Catto
    Releasing the pigeons for the bicentennial of Stoodley Pike monument
    Joby Catto
    The view towards MediaCityUK from The Lowry, November 2013
    Joby Catto
    Inside an Antonov AN-2 biplane at Hnjótur Museum, Örlygshöfn, Vestfirðir, Iceland
    Joby Catto
    A selfie sideways glance from Stoodley Pike monument
    Joby Catto
    A panoramic 360° demonstration at Hebden Bridge Camera Club
    Joby Catto
    Looking over Manchester and Salford's skyline at MediaCity UK
    Joby Catto
    The view from the top of Wainhouse Tower in Halifax
    More About Europe

    Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights. In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states. Text by Steve Smith.