December 8, 2022

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Visiting Iceland’s famous plane wreck

Iceland is of training course best known for currently being the ‘Land of Hearth and Ice’, many thanks to its several volcanoes and glaciers. There are nonetheless some other fascinating and considerably unconventional sights, and one particular of these is the airplane wreck on Sólheimasandur, a black seashore on the south coast of Iceland.

It’s about a 20-moment push from Vik but initial a shout-out for The Soup Organization in Vik the place we to start with stopped for some lunch just before browsing the aircraft wreck.

The Soup Enterprise is a wonderful location to test Iceland’s famed red warm lava soup. It’s their signature beef goulash soup, is complete of flavour and arrives in a black lava bread bowl with yoghurt on the side.

But they do numerous other soups, much too, these kinds of as an Icelandic lamb soup, a curried fish soup with Iceland cod and shrimps, and an Indian winter soup (with carrots, onions, lentils, coconut product, crushed pineapple and Indian herbs and spices). If you can’t choose, merely decide on the tasting menu (for one particular) the place you get to check out three soups in three bowls.

No matter what you pick, they are healthful and filling, and they’ll even refill your bowl if you’d like extra!

Emotion suitably refreshed, we hopped back into the motor vehicle and designed our way west together Route 1 to see the airplane wreck.

But initially, I’ll give a minor track record to the crash. It was back in 1973 that a US Navy transportation airplane ran into issue and crash-landed on the beach front at Sólheimasandur. The plane was flying from Hofn Hornafjördur Airport to Naval Air Station Keflavik, soon after offering materials to the radar station at Stokksnes. Even though noted as the wreck of a Douglas DC-3, it is essentially the remains of a transformed Douglas C-117.

Various theories abound as to what caused the crash. The Airline Basic safety Community states theat the plane experienced extreme icing, ensuing in the crew remaining unable to sustain altitude, forcing thet airplane to land. Some say, while, that the crash took place for the reason that of a failure by a single of the pilots when switching involving gas tanks, ensuing in the airplane managing out of gasoline and currently being compelled to land. Apparently there was thick fog and visibility was so poor that there have been times when the crew was not able to see the ideas of the wings.

There is even confusion on the day of the crash. Several experiences say it arrived down on 24th November 1973, yet the Icelandic newspaper Morgunblaðið experiences, on the 22nd November 1973, that it had crashed the working day in advance of the date of publication. This day of 21st November 1973 seems to be correct, and is backed up by the Aviation Safety Community summary.

Whichever transpired, and on no matter what day, every crew member survived devoid of significant injuries and the remains of the aircraft ended up deserted on the beach. The plane was subsequently stripped by the US Navy of anything at all of value, but the most important fuselage however lies the place the plane crashed. It has formerly been utilized as storage by the farmer whose land it had crashed on, as properly as for concentrate on observe by local hunters (which accounts for the bullet holes you may see), but has considering the fact that develop into a tourist attraction in its possess correct, most likely assisted by coverage it has obtained in songs video clips and on Tv (see below).

You employed to be ready to travel all the way to the crash web-site, or even continue to be overnight there, but both are no lengthier feasible. Though it is positioned on private land, you can, nonetheless, even now take a look at and there is a massive automobile park just off the principal Route 1 ring road.


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Most people today stop by on foot from in this article, but there is the solution to take the Plane Wreck Shuttle. Despite the fact that men and women waited a quick though for this when we had been there, it soon materialised that it was not working. In the previous, there has been the possibility to use a ‘fat bike’ but we saw no evidence of this at the time of our take a look at.

A indicator tells site visitors that it takes 3-4 several hours to hike equally strategies.  This does not seem to be all that real looking in my impression – on a fantastic working day, I consider it can be carried out 1 way in about 30 minutes if walking briskly or within just an hour if strolling at a additional at ease pace.  That said, possibly a generous time estimate is presented for very good explanation since the weather can improve rapidly and can adversely have an impact on visibility, so it is best to err on the side of caution. Do just take treatment – an American vacationer died in 2017 close to the plane, as did two Chinese tourists in their early 20s in 2020, presumably caught out by adverse weather conditions ailments. It’s as a result a very good strategy to check out Iceland’s climate support (vedur.is) prior to venturing out. And do not ignore the unexpected emergency variety in Iceland which is 112.

The path to the plane wreck is much more obviously described nowadays than it has been in the earlier, assisted by occasional reflective markers in the ground, ideally reducing the possibility of people today receiving lost.  As walks go, it is not a quite fascinating 1 – you are in essence walking in excess of a glacial outwash simple that appears like this.

Inevitably, immediately after about two miles of this just about submit-apocalyptic landscape, the path monitor veers to the left and the airplane will come into see in the distance.

When we arrived, there were individuals climbing all in excess of it. I have read that this is illegal but am not guaranteed if this is legitimate. Regardless, I wouldn’t recommend it – to start with, there are elements of the airplane that didn’t glimpse really stable secondly, it would not be a terrific area to slip and twist an ankle (or worse even now, crack a leg) and thirdly, it is just not really thoughtful to other persons viewing and seeking to get pictures.

While the airplane wreck is fairly intriguing to see and seem all over, I really do not feel you are going to require that very long there once you have witnessed it. It is a interesting scene in the center of nowhere, surrounded by mile on mile of nothingness – just black sand as far as the eye can see.

You can see within the dilapidated fuselage. Apparently the plane served in both of those Korean and Vietnamese wars in advance of becoming deployed to Iceland’s Keflavik Airport.

In contrast to a lot of of Iceland’s points of interest, the airplane wreck differtiates alone for the reason that it is entirely synthetic, furnishing a placing contrast with its or else untouched pure environment.

This surreal scene – a grey fuselage set versus a black backdrop and usually a grey sky, seems much more like a scene from a science fiction motion picture that it does truth. For this reason also, of system, it signifies a photographer’s paradise.

For a quantity of years, the nearby Icelandic men and women did not regard the wreckage to be one thing of international interest and fascination and even reviewed have it eradicated since it was a blot on an normally untouched and pristine landscape.

Given its enduring popularity presently, it seems not likely that this will ever occur. Yet, I’m guaranteed lots of would query the charm in traveling to this wreck provided the many purely natural wonders that you could check out in Iceland rather.

Maybe it is the otherworldly landscape that the wreck is set in as very well as the thriller that surrounds the crash that adds to the intrigue. A person thing for absolutely sure is that the publicity that the wreck has received via many media has surely increased recognition of, and desire in, the website. Most likely most famously of all, Justin Bieber’s video clip for the music I’ll Present You features him skateboarding on the top of it. Look at from 2 mins 11 seconds.

The music movie for the tune Gerua in the Bollywood movie Diwale sees actors Shah Rukh Khan (aka SRK) and Kajol posing on top rated of the aircraft. Observe from 1 min 31 seconds.

https://www.youtube.com/check out?v=AEIVhBS6baE

And the songs video for the track Permit Me In, from Korean girl group Loona, also options the aircraft. View from 53 seconds.

https://www.youtube.com/check out?v=6a4BWpBJppI

Mercurio by Emis Killa is yet a further tunes movie to aspect the wreck. Look at from 1m 38 seconds.

https://www.youtube.com/check out?v=E8xnc2p43Qk

Ultimately, the plane wreck also seems when Mikael encounters it in the Netflix sci-fi drama, Katla.

Planning a journey to Iceland yourself? You can watch a video clip from our journey to Iceland in this article. You can briefly see footage of the airplane wreck involving 5m 23s and 5m 29s:

https://www.youtube.com/check out?v=KNcJZYAzftk

Disclosure: Our trip to Iceland was also sponsored by Helly Hansen.