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Over the course of Aeronautical history which is only in the last 100 years or so there have been many advancements and many mishaps. Often times when things go wrong wrecks are left where they lay, becoming monuments to the bit of history that lead to their end. Today we’re going to check out some of the stories that lead to these surreal aircraft sights. Let’s check out these Abandoned Aircraft Left as Monuments!
#10 Abandoned DC Plane on Sólheimasandur
On the vacant black sands of the beach at Sólheimasandur, Iceland you’ll find this eerie sight of the lone fuselage of a US Navy DC plane. As you approach this relic, having sat abandoned for decades it fills you with a surreal feeling as there is nothing else around almost as far as the eye can see. The DC planes are a series of planes that were made by the Douglas Aircraft Company, and the DC stands for Douglas Commercial, as these planes were used for passenger air travel, the planes that the company made during the 1930s and 40s had a lasting impact on the airline industry. It was back in 1973 that this DC plane supposedly ran out of fuel and had to perform a crash landing on these black sands on the South Coast of Iceland. Luckily, all of the passengers managed to survive, but the plane itself was done for…it was later found out that the pilot had simply switched over to the wrong fuel tank. The remains of the fuselage are still on the sand next to the sea.
#9 Atka B-24D Liberator
This derelict bombardier, known as the Atka B-24D Liberator is located on Atka Island in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. This plane, the Consolidated B-24D Liberator, was designed by the Consolidated Aircraft company in San Deigo, California and was introduced in 1941. The B-24 was created with a modern design featuring a highly efficient shoulder-mounted, high aspect ratio Davis wing. This style wing gave the Liberator a high cruise speed, long range and the ability to carry a heavy load. The Atka Liberator was purposefully crash-landed on the island on 9 December 1942, it’s one of only eight D-model Liberators anywhere in the world counting both partial and derelict remnants. The aircraft was serving on weather reconnaissance duty when it was prevented from landing at any nearby airfields due to poor weather conditions. Only one person, Brigadier General William E. Lynd did not walk away from the crash.
#8 The Plane Wreck of Norman’s Cay
In the late 70’s and early 80’s Norman’s Cay, located in the Bahamas, was used for the smuggling of illegal substances by the Medellin Cartel, the island provided a convenient stopping point for transportation between Colombia and the US. The wrecked C-46 in the waters off of the coast was actually a part of the operation which was headed by Medellin Cartel co-founder, Carlos Lehder, and of the relics left behind from his reign in the area it’s the most well known. The remains of the C-46 plane are a popular spot to snorkel and there’s always been much uncertainty surrounding the wreck. The true story might not be as elaborate as some of the embellishments over the years, but according to Jack Reed, the man who was Lehder’s first pilot, the story is that Andy, another pilot, known as “British Andy” was known to enjoy drinking, even being known to take a six pack with him on a flight. One morning Andy decided to do some practice flying, when he made a miscalculation trying to land which resulted in a damaged landing gear and propeller. Even though he managed to get the plane airborne again it didn’t last and he went down in the sea. Lucky for him and his passenger they both got away from the crash without a scratch.
#7 Lady of the Lake
In a lake at the Eielson Air Force Base in North Pole, Alaska rests the Lady of the Lake, a former WB-29 Superfortress, a variant of the B-29 build by Boeing, which was originally built in the 1940s. The aircraft was used for weather reconnaissance, such as flying into the eye of a hurricane or typhoon to gather information, and this one would regularly fly over the North Pole. After being retired in 1955 the Lady of the Lake was mounted over the lake it now sits in and was used for open water extrication training for a time. However, one spring the water levels raised too high and submerged the majority of the aircraft, and there she remains, having earned her nickname.
#6 Corsair Plane Wreck Honolulu
Off the coast of Honolulu this Corsair sits about 115 feet down on the seafloor, and while many wrecks are purposefully sunk off the coast of Oahu, this wreck was the real deal. The Vought F4U Corsair is an American fighter aircraft that saw a lot of use in the 1940s, the craft was originally designed and initially manufactured by Chance Vought, before manufacturing was regulated to Goodyear and Brewster. The story of this particular Corsair’s end is not particularly dramatic when compared to other plane