The Abandoned DC-3 Wreck On Iceland’s South Coast

i’m normally a solo travel kind of person but when i was asked by @jetsetcd to join her and @inflightfeed in Iceland to go and check out the abandoned DC-3, i jumped at the chance. i’m workationing here — kind of difficult due to only being four hours ahead of East Coast time, and would have preferred a true vacation, but this was something i couldn’t pass up. (another great thing about not going solo in Iceland is that you can split costs since everything is cha-ching here!)

Temp pictures for blog

With our little car in the distance

what? an abandoned plane?

yes! in the early 1970s, a US Navy DC-3 ran out of fuel and crash-landed on the southern shore of Iceland. luckily everyone survived, as did much of the plane, just sitting there on the black sand waiting to be explored. (apparently it was too costly to bother to retrieve and salvage.)

how do you get there?

first off, it may or may not be legal for your rental car to go off of paved roads, so you should double-check. the plane is visible on Google Maps and is about a five-minute off-road drive from the Ring Road (Route 1). you can find directions elsewhere on the web but some pointers: there are two gaps in the fence on the right once you pass the junction for Sólheimajökulsvegur. the first will take you to the plane without having to cross over a shallow riverbed. the second…well, you’ll have to ford every stream (as the Mother Abbess once sang). not a big deal. we missed the first turnoff and thus did a loop (exiting through the first). as long as you go when it’s not snowing, you will find tire tracks that will lead you to the general area.

on the way back to Reykjavik we stopped in a cafe to eat lunch and someone asked the waiter about the plane. the waiter didn’t know, but was it horrible that we didn’t help those people out? like, if you’re not going to do the research, you don’t deserve to go. heaven knows we did. we had Foursquare check-in information, Google Maps, Tripadvisor directions, and other blog posts to help us get there.

and we weren’t the only ones who did our homework. we thought we would be the only people out there, but in the hour or so that we were on site, no less than five cars came through, though those people were not as captivated as we #avgeeks were, staying for less than 10 minutes each. (fine by us!)

oh and by the way, you’ll pass by Eyjafjallajökull on the way down! yes, that Eyjafjallajökull. (repeat after me, “AY-uh-fyat-luh-YOE-kuutl-uh”, as a t-shirt for sale in the small visitor’s center explained. yes, there are somehow /t/ sounds in there, i guess the double-Ls.)

Temp pictures for blog

If you drive or walk just a little bit further you’ll hit the coast. It’s spectacular! (And windy!)

Temp pictures for blog

The wreckage as you face back north.


Another photo just to correctly tag this place. Goddamn Facebook locations suck lemons.

There she lies


View from the cockpit


Where did the rest of her go?


Bulkhead seating?


Cabin view?


Luckily the weather was amazing.

more pictures to come when i upload my entire set from this trip next week.

here’s a photo of our little group from @jetsetcd’s instagram:

2 Comments on "The Abandoned DC-3 Wreck On Iceland’s South Coast"

  1. This makes me kinda sad. But thanks; never knew about it before.

    • There is something really plaintive about it — maybe because it’s all alone in this vast space. But like my friend said, it’s not a sad wreck since there were no lives lost!

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