Plane crash sites that have become scuba diving hotspots

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Not all aircraft are disassembled or displayed in museums at the end of their lifespan. Some, intentionally or not, sink deep into the sea and are open to visitors. Many historic aircraft now lie on the seabed around the world, and daily divers swim through the skeletons of aircraft overgrown with corals and sea creatures. Let’s take a look at five that you can see for yourself.


Seaplane ‘Jake’, Palau

What is now a popular scuba dive site located on a coral reef off Palau, Oceania, about 12 meters deep, was once used as a spy seaplane during World War II.

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The Aichi E13A (nicknamed Jake) was operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy (INJ) from 1941 to 1945. It carried a crew of three and had a bomb load of 250 kg (550 lb). Prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor it carried out an initial reconnaissance survey and was used for air-sea rescue, bombardment, patrol and transport.

But the reason for his sinking in the sea is a mystery. During their visit, travelers from the One Million Places blog said the instructor claimed that although his abandonment was unknown, the plane was not shot down as there was no bullet impact on the missile.

However, the location of the wreckage and the unfolded props suggest the seaplane crashed when the engine stalled during takeoff or landing from Meyuns base, the scuba blog said. marine Wrecked in my Revo. The wreck is around 11.3 meters long, with wings around 14.5 meters wide, and is easy to spot from above.

Boeing 737, British Columbia, Canada

A decommissioned Air Canada Boeing 737 is now a popular dive site in the Stuart Channel off Chemainus in British Columbia, Canada. The jet was no longer airworthy due to age deterioration and structural issues, leading to the idea that it became part of an artificial reef.

In January 2006, the Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia (ARSBC) mounted the 737-200 on stands and lowered the aircraft into the waters.

It became the first man-made aircraft wreck in North America, Aerotime said. Before choosing his permanent residence, many other destinations were in the running. ARSBC reviewed sites in Vancouver, Sechelt, Courtenay/Comox and Victoria.

Although the wreck is a popular scuba dive site, it is in freezing water and is generally difficult to see, as it descends up to 100 feet (30 m) below the surface. However, the plane is still completely intact and well preserved for nearly 15 years.

Vought F4U Corsair, Hawaii

Although not deliberately sinking into the sea, an American fighter jet, the Vought F4U Corsair, used in World War II and the Korean War, is now 110 feet under water in Hawaiian sea .

The Corsair was used as a navy and army aircraft, with an approximate length of 33 feet and a height close to 16 feet. In 1945, the plane crashed after running out of fuel during a routine training mission from Molokai Field on Oahu to Ewa Field, the Sometimes Interesting blog explains.

The pilot made a soft landing before completely running out of fuel, and the wreckage is now located on the southeast side of Oahu, Hawaii, about three miles from Kai Marina.

The attraction is not as accessible to the masses compared to other wrecks. Visitors – except professionals with authorization – must dive with an instructor.

Lockheed Martin, TriStar L-1011, Jordan

This jumbo jet, now a popular scuba diving site, was intentionally scuttled, but for secret reasons unknown. According to Mares, the Lockheed TriStar L-1011 is an abandoned passenger aircraft at King Hussein International Airport in Aqaba, Jordan for several years due to unsuccessful commercial arrangements.

With the plane running out of purpose, the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) decided it would be scuttled, adding to an underwater military museum in the Red Sea next to King’s Reef Abdallah in 2019. The plane sits about 16 to 27 meters below the surface, with the tail at the deepest end.

The jumbo jet joined various military treasures in the underwater museum, such as a C-130 Hercules and numerous tanks, armored cars, guns, helicopter gunships, and more.

The plane has become a popular tourist attraction. Photo: Aqaba Tourism

Blackjack B17, Papua New Guinea

After returning from a bombing mission in 1943, a Blackjack B17 aircraft encountered engine trouble and was abandoned in the seas of Papua New Guinea.

The Flying Fortress left 7 Mile Airfield at Port Moresby before midnight to bomb Japanese airfields at Rabaul in New Britain. Her right wing engines malfunctioned during the ride, but the pilots could still complete the mission.

However, on the way back the plane ran out of fuel and had trouble keeping on course, so the pilots turned southeast towards Milne Bay and decided to leave it on the reef.

The aircraft sits 164 feet below the surface of the bay, with a wingspan of 103 feet. It is also almost entirely intact, compared to others that have deteriorated considerably. Divers can still see the gun mounts, cockpit and seats.

Adapted for use during the war, the aircraft was named after the jack and ace, a “blackjack hand” of 21 in the Pontoon game. Blackjack was built in the Boeing factory in Seattle.

Sources: A million places, Castaway in my Revo, Aerotime, sometimes interesting

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