This abandoned metal hulk is the remnant of a C-117D cargo transport plane, owned by the U.S. Navy, which crashed near Sólheimasandur, Iceland. On November 24, 1973, the crew of this plane took off in it from Keflavik, where various Navy planes were stationed, but got lost in bad weather. The pilot thought the plane had run out of fuel and ditched on the beach. As it turned out he had merely switched over to the wrong fuel tank. No one was killed in the crash, thankfully.
This is not the exact site where the plane crashed that day. A Navy salvage team dragged it here during the recovery effort, but removing the whole plane itself wasn’t worth it, so here it sits. This stunning panorama from 360cities.net–take a look at the whole thing here–was taken in June 2013 by Joby Catto. It looks like it’s a black and white photo, but it’s not. The color of the landscape, clouds and the plane itself really do look like this.
If the outline of the plane itself looks familiar, it should. The C-117D was a military variant of the DC-3, the indefatigable airliner I blogged about a few months ago. Had the mistake that led tot his crash not happened, it’s very likely this plane would still have been flying many years after 1973!