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Iceland DC-3 Wreck site, Sólheimasandur

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In 1973 a United States Navy DC plane ran out of fuel and crashed on the black beach at Sólheimasandur, south coast Iceland. Everyone in that plane survived though. Later it turned out that the pilot had simply switched over to the wrong fuel tank. The remains are still on the sand very close to the sea.

Photography Tips

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Travel Information

1) Head east along Route 1 (The main road that circles Iceland) towards the town of Vik.
2) Drive past Seljalandsfoss, Eyjafjallajökull Erupts Museum, and Skogarfoss.
3) Around 6km from Skogarfoss you will drive across a bridge that crosses quite a substantial river called Jokulsa that is fed from the Sólheimarjökull glacier.
Once across you will see a left-hand turn signposted for Sólheimarjökull. This is how you know that this is the bridge we are talking about.
4) Carry along Route 1 towards Vik but keep an eye out on the right and side of the road as you will see a farmers field that is fenced off.
5) As you drive along this road it will very gradually go uphill and then downhill again. Keep watching the fence because you will eventually come across an obvious entrance that has a cattle grid. You need to turn right here. This entrance is about 2km from the bridge crossing.
You will know this is the right road as the dirt track bends to the right at the entrance and it is the only opening in the fence you will come across. If you cross another river or see a left-hand turn then you have missed the farmers track.
6) It is no longer possible to drive directly down to the plane as the landowners have closed the road due to vandalism, so you must park at the entrance and walk about 45 minutes to the plane each way.
Crowd Factor A decent amount of people
Best Timing All timings are equally good
Sunrise & Sunset 10:37 - 15:40 | current local time: 12:48
Locations Sólheimasandur
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Spot Comments (19)

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Mike West
Mike West 04.12.2018
Sad. In 1973 the DC 3 would have been around 40 years old. At that point, the Navy would have had damn few in service. Only new pilots or pilots not that familiar with the aircraft would have been flying it. That pilot error would indicate inexperience in that aircraft type. Great photos.
Fabio Milanesi
Fabio Milanesi 25.06.2018
Please walk only on the path !
Yasmin Berdai
Yasmin Berdai 01.02.2018
You can only walk to the plane wreck now... they have closed the road... it’s a 4km walk to the plane and.... a 4km walk back to the car park...
Danny Nielsen
Danny Nielsen 16.10.2018
For some reason the walk back seemed longer, thats off course when it started raining....
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 19.11.2018
Walking to a spot adds a pleasant anticipation I guess? ;-) Thanks for sharing the behind the scenes photos by the way. Great to have a better idea of the path you would have to walk. I was there in 2015 and could still drive the road. But I guess it's better this way now since only people get there who are really interested in seeing the plane.
Felix Barra
Felix Barra 03.07.2017
Is the way open in the winter? O will be there in november
Go Iceland Car Rental
Go Iceland Car Rental 15.03.2016
As of yesterday (14/3, 2016) the landowners closed the road to the crash site until further notice. They were forced to since so many were driving off road there and destroying private property. You can still go there but one has to walk from the main road. Here you can read all about it and you have a detailed description on how to find the place. On the bottom picture you can clearly see the damages the off road driving has caused. http://www.goiceland.com/blog/the-solheimarsandur-airplane-wreck/7760/ Safe travels!
Sebastien Degardin
Sebastien Degardin 15.03.2016
Thanks for the info guys!
Go Iceland Car Rental
Go Iceland Car Rental 15.03.2016
You are welcome!
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 16.03.2016
Thank you guys for your advice! I've also added an article to our blog to remind the people again that they have to respect the nature and the estates of the locals if they still want to be welcome in the future...
Go Iceland Car Rental
Go Iceland Car Rental 16.03.2016
Well done. Thanks! :)
Sebastien Degardin
Sebastien Degardin 21.03.2016
@Go Iceland Car Rental, my next trip will be at the end of march, 1 week solo across the country taking fine art landscape. Got any good offers for car hire? Thanks, Sebastien
Go Iceland Car Rental
Go Iceland Car Rental 21.03.2016
Write to [email protected] and lets see what we can do! :)
Sebastien Degardin
Sebastien Degardin 21.03.2016
Sebastien Degardin
Sebastien Degardin 24.03.2016
No reply despite 2 emails... sad because I had at least 2 trips planned and needed a car for each
Jota Jota Jota
Jota Jota Jota 09.11.2015
This is one of the places that I really want to visit in Iceland next year. I'm not too familiarised with graduated ND filters... did you use several of them?
Sebastien Degardin
Sebastien Degardin 31.01.2016
I only used a 10stop ND filters. make sure you have a good tripod.
Tom Martinson
Tom Martinson 27.07.2015
I'm amazed that I'm the first to comment on this image. It's just incredible, and thank you for these directions, because this is definitely on my must-see list of places. I'm just in love with this! You got some great weather too.
Sebastien Degardin
Sebastien Degardin 31.01.2016
Glad it's useful, thanks!

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Thank you Sebastien Degardin for creating this photo spot and fotocrafts, Jay Howard, Yasmin Berdai, Danny Nielsen, William Warby, Jasen Crawford, highway13, Marc Pelissier, Thomas Mader, Stefan Schmid, José Luis Castaño Azuela, gregory fargier, Christian Nitz, Marie-Claire Götzinger, Manuel Becker for improving it with additional photos or content.
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