Sometimes the story is more fascinating than the sight itself. There are plenty of memorial stones around the globe and the Åland Islands are no exception. Some of the memorial stones recall heroic events while others are of a more tragic nature. The memorial of Aero Flight 217, or AY217, is of the more tragic kind. This flight, on its way from Helsinki to Mariehamn in 1963, never made it safely to the ground.
Aero Flight 217
Aero Flight 217, a Douglas DC-3, departed in the afternoon on November 8th, 1963. The flight was a few minutes late on takeoff but made it safely to its stopover in Turku. The plane left Turku with 25 people on board, including 3 crew. It was at the time foggy weather to be expected in Mariehamn.
Even though the plane had aligned itself early on with the runway it never reached the ground safely. It struck the trees 1.480 meters before the runway. It landed upside down and caught fire. Only three of the 25 people on board survived the crash, 22 people perished.
The Memorial Stone
A memorial stone was erected in 1967 by the Godby Rotary Club in memory of the accident. The stone is about 200 meters east of the actual location of the accident.
Finding the Memorial Stone
The site of the memorial stone is marked with a small sign mentioning “Minnessten” along the road Jomala Torpväg. The sign marks a small parking spot next to the road from where it is possible to walk to the site. If you follow the path, you’ll reach the stone in just a few minutes.
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