It is with great sadness that we received the news that Haraldur Diego, President of AOPA Iceland, has died in a plane crash in Iceland. We are extremely shocked by the news and our thoughts go out to his family and friends and especially to his wife Gunnur and three children. And of course also to the passengers on board of the plane and their loved ones.
The accident happened on Thursday, February 3. Haraldur left in his Cessna 172 (TF-ABB) with three passengers for a sightseeing flight in the famous Golden Circle area. On board were a 22-year-old American influencer/Youtuber, a 27-year-old Dutchman and a 32-year-old Belgian, both of whom work for the Belgian fashion brand Suspicious Antwerp and were in Iceland professionally.
Haraldur was very involved in the activities of IAOPA Europe. He frequently attended the international meetings, sometimes accompanied by his wife Gunnur and fellow IAOPA Iceland member Valur Stefánsson.
The cause of the crash is not yet known. No distress signal or warning was received from the pilot. He was very experienced, one of the most prominent pilots. Haraldur was also a pioneer in the field of photo round trips. Under his alter ego volcano pilot, he regularly posted photos on his website and on social media.
The police assume that the passengers were able to leave the plane after it fell into the nearly frozen water. This is evident from the bodies found about 300 meters from the plane. Nearly 1,000 people were involved in the rescue effort near the Thingvellir National Park, which is popular with tourists.
Haraldur was a special person, always cheerful and upbeat. When Haraldur was around it usually turned into a party. His aviation activities therefore did not go unnoticed in Iceland. We found a nice article on an Icelandic aviation website which you can read here.
AOPA USA also paid attention to the death of Haraldur Diego. Read the article here.
And here you find an interesting article about Diego's activities as a pilot on Iceland, with video.