Every aircraft has a distinct story. And even some of those that fell on some sort of misfortune live on beneath the waves, allowing scuba divers to explore the wreckage and visit these planes in their second life.
Vought F4U Corsair – Hawaii
In 1948, the pilot of this WWII aircraft executed an exemplary emergency water landing after the Corsair’s engine started to sputter mid-flight. The plane suffered very little damage, and although decades underwater have taken their toll, it’s still spectacular.
Aichi E13A – Palau
Known to the Allied forces as a Jake, this long-range reconnaissance seaplane was used commonly by the Imperial Japanese Navy in the Pacific. Although it was introduced (1941) and retired (1945) in the same decade, more than 1,400 of these seaplanes were produced.
One of them can be found in about 45 feet of water, about a five-minute boat ride from Koror, Palau.
Boeing 737, Chemainus, British Columbia, Canada
In January 2006, this large commercial plane became North America’s first artificial airplane wreck, sunk by the Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia (ARSBC). Divers should prepare for chilly water and relatively poor visibility. At its deepest point, the wreck lies in 100 feet (30 m) of water.
Dakota DC-3, Kaş, Turkey
Although this wreck was intentionally sunk in 2009 at a depth of 55 to 85 feet (17 to 26 m), it nevertheless has an impressive wartime history. Measuring 65 feet (20 m) in length and with a wingspan of 100 feet (30 m), the Dakota transported Turkish paratroopers during WWII. Today, it is still more or less intact, and its iconic twin propeller engines provide an excellent subject for photographers.
Vulcan Bomber – Bahamas
You won’t find any military history associated with this dive site, but a strong link to pop culture instead.
In the film Thunderball, James Bond is asked to investigate the disappearance of an Avro Vulcan high-altitude bomber and its cargo of atomic bombs. Bond finds the plane sunken in the waters of the Bahamas. The film crew actually assembled a fiberglass model of a Vulcan bomber while shooting in the Bahamas, sinking the set piece in about 40 feet of water off New Providence Island. It’s believed that the crew destroyed the model so others could not use it for filming, leaving the remaining metal framework that can be seen today.