Happy End: A Book About Plane Wrecks


Happy End might seem like an odd name for a pictorial book about plane wrecks but not just any wreck made the grade for German photographer Dietmar Eckell. The 96-page volume features a moody selection of photos of 15 wrecks, ranging from light twins to heavy piston transports, in remote locations from Papua New Guinea to Alaska, but they all have one thing in common: All of the mishaps were the result of forced landings and the occupants were rescued. “Aviation miracles are rare and the planes remaining out there are very remote — but the challenge was motivation and it was like a pilgrimage to get to these ‘wonders’ on four continents,” Eckell said. Eckell used crowdsourcing to fund publication of the book and has already made a substantial profit on its publication.

Based on his description of the effort that went into gathering the images, the money appears to have been well-earned. “To keep the cost low and the experience real no production companies or professional guides are involved,” he said. “It’s a one-man show and I only rely on the help of locals.” Eckell produced various versions of the book, from the regular hardcover coffee-table style tome to museum-quality prints that cost hundreds of dollars.