Every Thursday, I will be posting a photo from my travels and a spotlight on the location. Today’s spotlight Thursday is from my winter Iceland road trip. On this three-week road trip, I had some amazing adventures and some unique experiences. One of my favorite was visiting the Sόlheimasandur Plane Crash site. The crash site is the remains of a United States Navy Douglas Super DC-3 airplane.
On Saturday, November 24, 1973, the plane was flying over Iceland’s southern coast when it experienced severe icing. It was forced to crash land on the Sόlheimasandur Black Sand Beach. All the crew survived the landing. Shortly afterwards, the plane was stripped of the usable parts and the remains left on the beach.
I didn’t have a plan when I arrived in Iceland and this wasn’t even on my list of things I wanted to do. I had driven along the Ring Road to the small town of Vik. Vik is well known for its black sand beaches as well as glacier sports. I had been planning on going on a glacier hike but very high winds made it unsafe. I asked the glacier guide for suggestion for things to do since it the next scheduled hike wasn’t until 3:00 pm.
He looked at the vehicle I was driving and asked if I was up for an adventure. We walked inside of the small supply shack and he showed me a map of the area. He drew a circle on the map and gave me an detailed explanation on how to find the wreckage of a plane crash. Despite the heavy winds and threat of snow, I managed to follow his directions. It was pretty easy, drive towards Vik. When you cross the one-way bridge, drive 2 km take the only right-hand turn. Follow the little yellow tabs until your find the plane.
I found the turn off despite a snow squall. Some of the yellow tabs were hard to find but eventually I found the plane. I was the only one there due to the season and the weather. I spent an hour exploring the plane. I walked inside the plane to be shielded from the wind. I felt the wind pushing me over and blowing snow around the plane and across the sand.