The Miklavatn Experiment


Herring was vitally important for many towns in the north of Iceland during these years. It was also a great boost for flyers. Contracts for herring searches from the air were a vital for Loftleidir in its early years. In 1944, Alfred Elíasson and Kristinn Olsen lived in a tent beside Lake Miklavatn for the whole of the summer while flying in search of the shoals.

They flew up to 300 hours on the lookout for the silver of the sea. But at the end of the season, the Stinson aircraft was damaged while taking off from the water. The plane was put on a truck for transport to Reykjavík, but ran into telephone lines on the way and was seriously damaged.

Loftleidir’s first aircraft never flew again. However, the men didn’t give up, and in the following summer the company had two aircraft, for herring searches and for passenger transport.