Few things can grab the world's attention quite like a plane crash. The news that an aircraft has gone down makes for massive headlines that captivate the globe; it's a real-life scenario that produces nightmarish horror. These aviation mishaps often mean significant death tolls — complete survival of those on board is a rarity —and the crash sites often become memorials or hallowed grounds that serve as a tribute to the lives that were lost.
But what becomes of the wreckage? Well, oftentimes, it's just left at the scene. Sometimes, the plane has gone down in a remote area that's difficult to access or the wreckage is left as a memorial to the passengers who perished in the crash. This list explores those plane wrecks that are still intact — mangled old ruins that are located in places you can visit if you're daring enough and the scene doesn't give you creeps.
A B-24 Sits On The Boulders In Arizona
In September 1944, a B-24 carrying eight men went down en route from Bakersfield, CA, to Kirtland Army Air Field in New Mexico. The airplane crashed directly into Humphrey's Peak in Northern Arizona, which sits at an elevation of roughly 11,300 feet. All those aboard the aircraft perished in the crash, and the wreckage still sits atop the remote, rocky location.
Those curious can still go visit the crash site, which hasn't changed much in the decades since it happened. Be warned, however: it's considered a difficult hike. It's apparently not immediately easy to find and the boulder field can be treacherous.
An Air Aruba P4-YSA Rests In The Jungles Of Curaçao
The wreckage site of Air Aruba P4-YSA looks like something out of the TV show Lost - the tangled hunk of fuselage from the turboprop airliner sits in the Caribbean jungles off the island of Curaçao, where it's slowly being retaken by the natural growth around it; jungle flowers grow from its instruments and vines sprawl throughout the cabin.
Though it's unclear how the plane got to its current resting place—only adding to its mystery and romanticism—the plane can be visited and entered to this day.
An R.A.F. Bomber's Torn Remains Rest In France
In Alpes-de-Haute-Provence of Southern France sits the crumbling wreckage of a downed Royal Air Force bomber. The Wellington aircraft crashed in May 1944 on a mission to bomb a German armaments plant in the town of Portes-lès-Valence, where it was struck by anti-aircraft artillery. All crew members burned to death in the crash.
The twisted metal debris can still be visited by today by history buffs, tourists, or the morbidly curious. Five stones sit alongside the aircraft's torn remains, each bearing the name of a British soldier who was aboard the plane: a somber memorial for the fallen fighters.
You Can Hike To A Crash Site In The TWA Canyon In Santa Fe, NM
Just north of Albuquerque, NM, in the Cibola National Forest, sits the wreckage of TWA Flight 260. The ill-fated aircraft crashed into Sandia Peak in February 1955, killing all 13 passengers and three crew members that were on board. The bodies were removed from the crash site of the Martin 4-0-4 aircraft, but much of the wreckage still remains.
A plaque now sits next to the tangled metal, commemorating the loss of life that took place, and it can be visited via a 3.5 mile moderate-to-strenuous hike to what locals call "TWA Canyon." Or for the less actively inclined, the wreck can be seen from the Sandia Peak Tramway cable car, which travels directly above the site.