Scuba diving is a popular pastime for certain people, and wreck diving is considered very interesting. While shipwrecks are relatively common, you will be hard pressed to easily dive on a plane.
One place you can find one is in Bahrain, where there is a Boeing 747 under the sea. There is also a Lockheed L-1011 TriStar that lives beneath the waves as well.
The Lockheed TriStar
There once was a L-1011-500 TriStar delivered from Palmdale to Royal Jordanian on 3 June 1985. After a few years of service, it went to TAP Air Portugal in 1989, Air India in 1995, Novair in 1998, Air Luxor in 2000 and finally Luzair in 2004.
Once it finished its flying career, it was parked at King Hussein International Airport in Aqaba, Jordan. There it sat until purchased by the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority to be repurposed as an artificial reef.
Dive Video Exploring The TriStar
Several sites were considered for the plane, before selecting one that is 15-28 metres deep located adjacent to the Aqaba Container Terminal. Before the aircraft was scuttled to become a dive reef, all hazardous material was removed, of course. So, what’s it like to dive on the plane? Here’s a short seven minute video showing the experience.
Quite frankly I was surprised to see so much of the interior intact. It looks like a lot of fun to explore, and I would love to swim in the rear engine inlet for some reason. There is also a Lockheed C-130 Hercules sunk in the same area, so there’s more than one to explore.
The goal, of course, is not to provide a dive reef for recreation, though that is certainly part of the reason. The whole purpose is to create an artificial reef for sea life in the area to enrich the marine habitat.
I visited Jordan years ago and found it to be a wonderful place to visit (and Royal Jordanian is a mighty fine airline in business class!). Diving types would be smart to make the pilgrimage to the Lockheed L-1011 under the sea. There is some more information about it here.
Have you ever been to Aqaba to dive on the TriStar or ever dived on an aircraft before? What was that like? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.