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Douglas Super DC-3 (R4D-8) | by Steve Tron
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Douglas Super DC-3 (R4D-8)

The aircraft, a Douglas R4D-8, a Super DC-3, was originally in possession of the US Navy and considered to be a symbol of the golden age of air travel.


Originally utilised as a cargo aircraft, the US Navy was routinely flying over Iceland during the 1970s as a part of its unilateral defence agreement with the country. Iceland is a NATO member, and US forces had a permanent base on the island until 2005.


The aircraft crashed into Sólheimasandur on Wednesday, November 21st, 1973, at around 14:00 as reported by the Aviation Safety Network. It was flying from Höfn in Iceland's east coast and onboard were seven crew members.


The Douglas R4D-8 US Navy transport plane had delivered supplies at Hofn Hornafjördur Airport for the radar-station in Stokksnes, Iceland. En route the airplane encountered severe icing. The crew were not able to maintain altitude. A forced landing was carried out on an ice covered river on near coast of Iceland. The ice broke but the airplane did not sink. No one was injured in the crash.


In the years since its rocky landing, the DC Plane Wreck has borne the brunt of Iceland’s tempestuous weather; heavy rainfall, freezing and powerful gales. Today, the aircraft’s wings are no longer attached, and it has only half a tail (rumours suggest that a local farmer cashed in on the tail long ago.)

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Taken on March 9, 2020