50 Incredible Abandoned Aircraft
A lot of questions come to mind when we find abandoned things. Whether it's an abandoned building, stadium, car or an entire city, there's such an irresistible rush to ask what was and what could've been the stories behind abandoned objects and those who left them. Buildings and cars play essential roles today, and it's surprising to see such objects left in desolation. But what can be more haunting and captivating than abandoned airplanes? There's just something more about the abandonment of air jets: crashes among other reasons explains why planes are left to rot in weird places. Here is a list of abandoned airplanes in the world that are left to decay and spend the rest of their time grounded. We have 50 of them; read on to find out why these planes are stuck in the deep.
Boeing 737 in Bali, Indonesia
The Boeing 737 in Bali, Indonesia has no branding badges to identify it. It currently sits off the Raya Nusa Dua Selatan highway in Bali. Since its location is not far from the famous Pandawa Beach, tourists who come to the beach often turn the Boeing 737 to a tourist spot. Surrounded by shipping containers and dilapidated huts, how nobody noticed the arrival of the airplane remains a mystery. There are speculations that the aircraft was going to serve as a restaurant but became a failed project when the owner could no longer finance it. Although no one can tell the exact arrival date of the plane, there are likelihoods that the aircraft has been there since 2007.
Lockheed T2V-1 Training Plane in New Jersey Woods
In the New Jersey Woods of West Milford lie the remains of the abandoned military craft. According to a West Milford Messenger, two pilots were flying a training mission out of Brooklyn’s Floyd Bennett Field when they had a flame which caused the crash in 1962. The pilots were reported to crash into a heavily wooded swamp infested with poisonous snakes. Surprisingly, the pilots survived the accident without significant injuries despite the failed ejection system of the plane.
The Swearingen SA-226T in Central New Jersey Hangar
The Swearingen SA-226T was less than 10km from the airport when it suddenly banked on its right and hit the ground short of the runway threshold according to Bureaucratic of Aircraft Accidents Archive. The body also published that the right landing gear of the plane got torn off before the aircraft crashed and burned. Fuel samples from the left and right tanks revealed that they were different and that may explain some of the reasons for the engine’s failure. The pilot survived the crash but with serious injuries. No one has bothered to clear the aircraft mess ever since.
B-24A-CO Liberator in Atka Island
Built by Consolidated Aircraft Corporation at San Diego in 1941, the number 19 construction of the organization was delivered to the US Army with an ASV radar antenna installed on its bomber. It was assigned to the 28th Composite Group, 21st Bombardment Squadron on January 9, 1942. The B-24A-CO was on a mission to Otter Point Airfield (Umank) flying 18 combats before it faced weather problems. The pilot was forced to do a crash landing which broke some parts of the rear wing of the aircraft. The pilot and other people in the craft were rescued while the US Navy helicopter crew removed the machine guns on the radar in 1975.
Hovercraft in Green Cove Spring, Florida
The construction of this hovercraft never finished, and it has never been used. The abandoned hovercraft sitting in Green Cove Spring, Florida was the center of transportation news in 2006. At that time, ATLAS Hovercrafts planned on bringing hovercrafts into the mainstream. The body envisioned a hovercraft ferry between the Clay county and Downtime Jacksonville. Initially intended for Chicago business dinner cruises from Navy Pier, the hovercraft dream was kept alive until the US Navy abandoned the site it was meant to operate.
Soviet Space Shuttle in Kazakhstan Hangar, Russia
The abandoned hangar at Kazakhstan holds historical treasures. There lie this space shuttle and other cars gathering dust. Baikonur station in Kazakhstan where this aircraft is left to rot is the world’s first and largest space exploration and shuttle facility. The Soviet Space Shuttle is the last remnant of the airplanes built for the space program that began in 1974. It completed one uncrewed flight before it was grounded in the Kazakhstan Hangar in 2002.
Lockheed Ventura Air Force PV-1
The Lockheed Ventura, Air Force PV-1, was a twin-engine medium bomber of World War II. It had its first flight on July 31, 1941, and the United States Army Air Forces primarily used it. The British Commonwealth Forces also used the bomber in several guises including maritime patrol. Following the removal of United States Army Air Forces monopolization of land-based bombers, the US Navy requested a revised design of the aircraft. It was later scrapped for parts and abandoned.
Three Abandoned Boeing 747 in Malaysia
Airport authorities in Malaysia took out ads to find the owners of the abandoned cargo planes in Kuala Lumpur International Airport a long time ago. They made an effort to clear the cluster at the airport since no one was operating the jumbo jets. The ad states:
"If you fail to collect the aircraft within 14 days of the date of this notice, we reserve the right to sell or otherwise dispose of the aircraft."
The ad included photos of the orphaned planes- two white and one "off-white" 747-200Fs.
Airplane on the Airfield in Bryson City, NC
A drone flying across this airfield discovered this aircraft. It lies just southward of the intersection of Greenville and Gallimore Road. The Brevard Airport where the warplane rests was activated on April 1962 according to FAA Airport/Facility Directory Data. Early photos of the airport revealed it had 7 T-hangars and an unpaved southwest/northwest runway which has now been replaced by one bigger hangar between 1964 and 2008. Since the close of the airport, the aircraft has remained grounded and abandoned.
Columbian Narcoplane in Mazunte, Mexico
This Columbian Narcoplane that was shot down by the Mexican Army. The plane crashed in Mazunte, and it is buried in more than a meter of sand in the west shore of the Mexican coast. Although the specific use of the plane before the crash was not known, many believed it might be one of those aircraft used for transporting drugs and weapons across borders. It is not uncommon to see aircraft buried in this location, but the long time the Columbian Narcoplane has spent there has made it looked mysterious.
The World War II Lockheed P-38 Lightning
The American piston-engine fighter aircraft was developed for the United States Army Air Corps and its first flight was on January 27, 1939. Unlike most jet planes, the II Lockheed P-38 Lightning has two booms each with each having an engine; that almost makes it look like two planes bolted together. The World War II airplane crashed in Wales in 1942, and it has since been left to disintegrate in the sand.
Japanese Fighter of World War II
The Japanese seaplane in Palau is a ghost from a violet past of World War II. Now home to coral and fishes, the plane is resting 13 meters deep in the Palau waters which is far west pacific. Discovery of the aircraft was in 2013 when President Tommy Remengesau announced his intention to protect 80% of Palau’s water. Scientist and filmmakers were exploring the area when they discovered the plane that was in use during World War II.
US Navy DC Plane Black Beach at Sólheimasandur, Iceland
The US Navy DC Plane ran out of fuel, and it crashed on the Black Beach at Sólheimasandur, South Coast of Iceland in 1973. Fortunately, everyone in the aircraft survived the crash. Later on, research revealed that the pilot had switched over to the wrong fuel tank. The remains of the plane are still on the Black Beach at Sólheimasandur. Many consider the scene at the white abandoned plane on the black sand as cool and surreal with the fantastic landscape around.
Abandoned Vickers Viscount in Garland, Manitoba
The abandoned Vickers Viscount is resting in Garland, Manitoba, which locals refer to as the Duck Mountains. Back in 1982, a man named Don came up with the idea of turning an airplane to a living space. He combined the parts of two Vickers Viscount planes which were in bad condition in Teulon, Manitoba’s Interlake, to come up with a whole aircraft. Don, his in-law, and other family members in conjunction with a consultant dismantled the plane and transported to Garland where it sits today. The aircraft was furnished and turned into a living space hosting several parties until they found little or no use for it again.
Abandoned Douglas C-54 Skymaster in Ganes Creek, Alaska
The Douglas C-54 Skymaster plane has been written off as damaged beyond repair according to Aviation Safety Network. During the preparation for a flight leaving Ganes Creek, Ak US for Fairbanks International Airport, the number 1 engine developed a fault, which caused an explosion on ignition. The crew had started the four-engine plane by starting the engines 4,3 and 3 in succession before the explosion of the number 1 engine. Following the explosion, the left-wing was separated from the rest of the body as the crew moved the plane away from the damaged part. It has since remained on the spot unused.
Abandoned C-121 Lockheed Constellation ‘Pegasus’ in Antarctica
The C-121 Lockheed Constellation ‘Pegasus’ crashed on October 8, 1970, due to low visibility landing conditions. It was a safe crash as no one sustained severe injuries safe for the destruction of the propeller-driven airliner. The wreckage of the plane, which had a design like the presidential aircraft of U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower rests in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica.
Douglas DC-3 in Abandoned Military Base in Croatia
This abandoned DC-3 plane wreckage is one among the many aircraft that are left to rot in the abandoned military base in Croatia. The place is a dangerous one to visit with unexploded landmines in the area. Although there are exciting things about the site, there are laws restricting people from visiting the area due to its high danger level. Therefore, this plane has been left desolate since its crash.
The C-46 Commando Turned into Art Display in Churchill, Canada
After its arrival in the Northern town of Churchill, Manitoba, the C-46 Commando which recorded its first flight in 1954 suffered a partial engine failure while on flying in 1979. A story had it that the three-person crew turned the trip around but clipped a pole in the process. That brought down the plane just a quarter-mile into the runway. It has since been serving as an art display on the snowy rock where it sits.
The Large Passenger Jet Abandoned in Nicosia International Airport
Nicosia International Airport turned into a deserted place in 1974 when it became a flashpoint for civil conflict on the Mediterranean Island. The jumbo passenger jet rests silently on the edge of a sun-beaten track ever since tension and chaos befell the place. Greek nationalist in 1974 dethroned the elected President of Cyprus, and the Nicosia Airport was subsequently used to bring in more troops from Greece. People fled the airport leaving this plane following the turmoil that often ensues at the airport.
F4F-3 Wildcat Found Next to USS Lexington
The research of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and his team led to discoveries of planes in the coral sea. Their research led to discoveries of lost Japanese and US Navy vessels during World War II. Several damaged planes were found in the expedition with the F4F-3 numbered among them. It had the badge of ‘Felix the Cat’ painted on it, and it had probably crashed during World War II.
MiG-21 Single Engine Jet Fighter
A mystery pilot flew the MiG-21 into Kabul international airport on March 24, 2002; he stepped down from the cockpit and walked away after grounding the plane. The warplane was left on the tarmac while the troops stationed at the area were baffled by the incident. Before landing, the aircraft had experienced poor communication equipment, but the pilot radioed the airport for permission to land. After arrival, many things have been a mystery about the plane and the pilot whose whereabouts remains unknown.
Bell P39 at the Lake Mart-Yavr, Russian Arctic Circle
In 2004, a fisherman discovered the Bell P39 sitting at the bottom of the Lake Mart-Yavr within the Russian Arctic Circle. The fisherman saw the 5m deep plane through the crystal clear water covered to the top of its propeller. The badge on it identified Bell P39, and record shows that the pilot had disappeared on a transfer flight on November 1994.
The P-40 Kittyhawk Found in the Dessert
A Polish oil company worker stumbled on the Curtiss Kittyhawk P-40 wreckage while exploring the Sahara Desert region. The aircraft was found riddled with bullets holes, and its sight tells of a crash landing. Flt Sgt Dennis Copping of the RAF was the pilot flying the plane between two British airfields in Egypt for repairs. Unfortunately, the plane never arrived its destination, and its story and that of the 24-year old pilot has been a mystery for over 70 years now.
MI-17 Helicopter Crashed At The Everest Base Camp
Tragedy struck at the eve of the 50th-anniversary celebration of Mount Everest. A helicopter transporting climbers in the area crashed at the base camp on May 29, 1953. Two Nepalis were killed while a Kazakhstani helicopter crewman and a Germen trekker sustained injuries in the process. The leading cause of the accident remains unknown, but the chopper is still resting desolate at the crash spot.
The Soviet Nuclear Fleet
The Kildin Island in Russia is a veritable petting zoo of creepy decaying military equipment. This warplane crashed landed, and it rests in the Barents Sea, which is 75 miles from Norway. The Island is also known for High-level radioactive waste. Several nuclear submarines of belonging to the Soviet are decaying in the site.
Abandoned Gloster Meteor 1955
After its accident in 1955, this Gloster Meteor, which was abandoned. The aircraft caught fire after hitting an obstruction when a tactical reconnaissance exercise was underway. The pilot, Pilot Flying Officer Anthony William Wicking was able to eject from the aircraft at 200ft. This Gloster Meteor is the first British Jet Fighter. Britain used this jet aircraft during the Second World War for combat operations. The aircraft first flew in 1943.
Ford 5-AT-C Aircraft 1942
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) owned the Ford 5-AT-C aircraft. It could contain 19 passengers, including the two pilots. Ford built this aircraft. RAAF obtained it as a Trimotor in 1942 and assigned it to 24 Squadron. It was used during wartime for carrying out different assignments like evacuating those soldiers injured during the Kokoda Trail battle. The aircraft crashed at Myola Lake flipping over from slipping on mud on 24 November 1942.
Abandoned Douglas 1942 DC-4
If you visit the abandoned Gila River Memorial Airport, you will find an abandoned Douglas DC-4 aircraft. The aircraft is actually a Douglas C-54 Skymaster, a military version of the original aircraft. When it entered the USAAF service, it was the only reliable 4-engine transport aircraft. A total number of forty passengers in sitting position could be transported with the aircraft. The airfield in the photo is now an aircraft boneyard (since 1990).
Military Helicopters in Khodynka Aerodrome in Moscow
Alongside the military helicopter shown in this photo, many other ones sit at the Khodynka Aerodrome in Moscow, Russia. This Aerodrome, situated 4.3 miles northwest of Moscow, had been the single airport in the city before the Bykovo airport was opened in 1933. Khodynka Aerodrome, which was opened in1910, was shut down in 2003. However, the site still houses close to forty abandoned aircraft. It is reported that the area is being redeveloped.
Douglas DC-4 Aircraft At Gila River Memorial Airport
Looking at this picture, it is clear that the number of Douglas DC-4 aircraft here is more than two. The unfortunate thing is that they have been abandoned there for decades. This location is the Gila River Memorial Airport. As the name suggests, it brings lots of memories. The airport, which is situated at the Indian Reservation near Gila River, is privately owned and operated. It was mostly used for air charter operations.
Military Aircraft at Khodynka Field in Moscow
There are several military aircraft that have been abandoned in this location, Khodynka Field in Moscow. The field has an interesting history. It is the place where a particularly tragic event happened in the past. But, in recent times, it has served as a military aircraft museum. The unfortunate thing is that it has been abandoned. There are currently more than 30 aircraft in the abandoned museum. Let's hope that the abandoned military museum will be revisited soon.
Soviet-made Plane At The Pearl Airport Grenada
The Pearls Airport still house the abandoned aircraft in the picture. This airport is located in Grenada, a sovereign state in the West Indies. The Soviet is the maker of the aircraft, but it was used by the Cubans. During the invasion/liberation of 1983, it is believed that the Soviet-made plane was used to transport support materials. However, it was captured and abandoned. Till date, the aircraft is still at the site where it was abandoned.
Soviet Ilyushin Il-76 Cargo Plane
The Russian Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft is now abandoned in the Barracuda Beach Resort somewhere in Umm Al Quwain, near UAE. It is reported that its only use in recent times is as a billboard for the famous Palma Beach Hotel advertisements. The design of the Soviet Cargo plane was to allow it to serve strategic airlifting purposes. It was useful in remote places as it could function on an unpaved runway. The plane is reportedly having connections with Viktor Bout, an infamous arms dealer.
Look at what was found inside a hangar in Dona Soledad Subdivision, Better Living, Parañaque City in the Philippines; the Beechcraft 65-80 Queen Air. The aircraft crash happened sometime in 2011 just after take-off. it actually crashed into a school building. It is reported that the three passengers alongside no fewer than eleven people in the neighborhood died in the crash. Following the report of the pilot before the crash, mechanical issues seem to be responsible for the crash. Also, the plane was used for activities related to illegal smuggling.
Crop Duster in Lomond, Alberta
It is quite amazing to have found this crop duster on a farmer's field. The crop duster had been abandoned for some time on the private property in Lomond, Alberta. Looking at the photo closely, it is clear that two engines are powers the crop duster. To check out this crop duster, one will definitely need permission since it is private property. From the way it looks, it will be hard for it to fly again.
Beechcraft 18 New Hampshire
The photo shows the Beechcraft 18 that was abandoned in New Hampshire. The exact location of the abandoned plane is behind a rural NH Airport. The plane also called the "Twin Beech," was manufactured by the popular Beech Aircraft Corporation situated in Wichita, Kansas. This light aircraft can take between six to eleven passengers. It comes with two engines and a low wing. During the Second World War, this Beechcraft 18 was used in the military for tasks like training, light transport, and light bomber.
MiG-15 Kuçovë Air Base in Albania
The hangar shown is located at the Kuçovë Air Base in Albania. It houses the abandoned MiG-15 aircraft visible in the photo. At a time, the Soviet Union produced this MiG-15 jet fighter in bulk. The Russians had combat in mind when they produced the jet fighter; thus, they had enough weaponry fitted into it as if it were a B-29. Production of MiG-15s started in 1946, and it recorded significant success in the early 1950s.
The Soviet Union were known to manufacture some aircraft in bulk in the 20th century, and Antonov An-2 was one of the aircraft. This particular Antonov An-2 has been abandoned for a long time. It is a Type 22 corn crop duster with uses cutting across the utility and agricultural sectors. It was designed and manufactured in 1946 by the Antonov Design Bureau. The cockpit is enclosed, and the cabin can take up to twelve passengers.
MiG-25PU Abandoned in Russia
This MiG-25PU, a two-seat trainer, has been abandoned somewhere in Russia for years now. It is one of the aircraft that has been in the deserted Khodynka Airdrome in Moscow. The combat trainer was manufactured by adding some additional features to the MiG-25P. Particularly, one fore cockpit was added for the instructor to sit. Also, there was the reconfiguration of the fuselage's fore section. It was developed in July 1965.
The photo shows the Douglas C-47 Dakota that was left at an abandoned military airfield (Željava Airforce Base) in Croatia. This aircraft was used as a military transport plane during the Second World War. The Douglas C-47 continues to find relevance today among different military operators. The former Yugoslavian Air Force are the ones who used this particular aircraft. Unfortunately, it was knocked down on one of the mission it was assigned to undertake.
Columbian Drug Smuggling Plane
The reason behind the abandonment of this Columbian Drug Smuggling plane is unknown. The plane, abandoned in a tropical paradise in the Bahamas, belonged to a powerful drug cartel. Normally, such cartels use airplanes like this until they crash, wreck, seize, or left abandoned. It is a popular practice among drug lords since trafficking of drugs started. Sometimes, the planes are intercepted by the police, forcing the drug barons to abandon the aircraft.
Abandoned Plane at Peter O. Knight Airfield
This haughty small plane is found abandoned at the Peter O. Knight Airfield in Tampa, Florida. Unlike what is seen with other abandoned aircraft, it is supported from both sides with ropes. Although it does not look damaged beyond repairs, it is unknown if anyone is interested in fixing it. The airport, where it is, was a busy one from 1935 to 1945, it was being used by general aviation operators. Today, it is no longer in use as before.
Abandoned Plane Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
This plane was found abandoned close to an old Ramey Airbase 107 in Aguadilla. It is reportedly owned by the Valentines and is somewhere behind the gas station. The locals of the place say that the abandoned aircraft is a source of attraction to the place. People visit the municipality frequently. It also now serves as a photo spot to the locals. As at the time of writing this summary, It is not known what will happen to the abandoned aircraft.
Soviet An-12 at Bagram Airport
This soviet Antonio An-12 is sitting on tanks and has been abandoned at Bagram Airport in Afghanistan. The aircraft is reported to have crashed on takeoff. The plane refused to take off and overran the runway before it eventually caught fire and burnt most of the aircraft structures. Of the nine-member crew, seven died while two sustained severe injuries. The cargo plane was operated by the famous Silk Way Airlines.
2 Beech 18s Abandoned in Oahu, Hawaii
Talking about incredible abandoned aircraft, these two Beech 18s are examples. They were found near the Dillingham Airfield in Oahu, Hawaii. It does not look like these aircraft can be restored because their damages are somewhat beyond repair. This type of aircraft usually take six to eleven passengers and comes with a twin-engine. It has low wings and is used widely by different countries in the world. The design and manufacture of the aircraft are credited to the Beech Aircraft Corporation of Wichita, Kansas.
World Airways DC-10 Plane
It is amazing how this World Airways DC-10 plane is sitting on its tail. The abandoned aircraft was affected by the1991 Mount Pinatubo volcanic eruption. The plane flew right through it. The position it is shows that most of its weight is in the tail. That is true due, and it is due to the wet volcanic ash. It is very interesting to know that it was not the only plane affected by the 1991 volcanic eruption.
Mitsubishi Zero Abandoned on the Marianas Islands
Amazingly, this Mitsubishi Zero aircraft is considered abandoned. Well, it's possible since it is not damaged at all. It is reported to be abandoned somewhere in Marianas Islands. It is not the only abandoned plane there actually. This aircraft flew during the Second World War. The destruction of this plane occurred sometime in July 1944 during the Battle of the Saipan. Looking at the picture, the crash left damages that are just beyond repair.
Experimental Beriev VVA-14
The photo shows an experimental Beriev VVA-14. It is an amphibious aircraft that was expected to have been able to take off from the sea. In fact, that was the main idea behind its design. This Soviet Union aircraft was from the 1970s. This experimental aircraft resulted from the cold war that saw the Russians and the Americans come up with some crazy war innovations. The Beriev VVA-14 was to serve defensive purposes against nuclear submarines of the United States.
1965 Aero Commander 1121
This photo shows a part of the McVille Airport where the 1965 Aero Commander 1121 is reported to have been abandoned. The airport is located in Armstrong County in Pennsylvania. It is classified as a business jet. Isreal's aircraft manufacturing industry got a boost from the production of this aircraft in the '60s. It was still being produced up until 1987. The Aero Commander 1121 plane is very fast in the air.
Abandoned 1960 Piper Aztec
Among the incredible abandoned aircraft is this Piper Aztec from the 1960s. It was deserted years ago in an airfield. This Piper Aztec plane is one plane you will enjoy your flight in any day. So, it is unfortunate that this one has been abandoned. The number of passengers it can take range from four to six, and it comes with a twin-engine. It is classified as a light aircraft which is targeted at the general aviation market.
It has been a fantastic experience going through these abandoned aircraft and getting to know one or two things you never knew. Some of the planes might be still useful if repaired, but others are obviously beyond repairs; no thank to some incredible crashes. Indeed, some amazing stories surround some of the deserted planes as well like in the case of the volcanic eruption. Hope you enjoyed following us on the journey? Which of the stories surprised you the most? Let us know by leaving a comment and don't forget to share this article with your friends who enjoy reading about historical abandoned planes.