the scenic route to nowhere
July 10, 2013 8:11 PM   Subscribe

Photographer Dietmar Eckell has taen a series of pictures of wrecked airplanes. It's called "Happy Endings," and no one was killed in any of the 15 crashes.
posted by the man of twists and turns (8 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Nice, but not enough mangled metal. Seems to focus more on isolation then on technology twisted.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:20 PM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Very interesting how humanoid the airplanes look in these photos; I don't know how much of that is a result of the photographer's composition, but these planes display some personality.
posted by malapropist at 8:26 PM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

This was done in the 1960's as well.
posted by pjern at 8:36 PM on July 10, 2013

Nice, but not enough mangled metal. Seems to focus more on isolation then on technology twisted.

I think that's because he's only photographing wrecks where everyone survived. Earlier this summer I visited the crash sites of a B-24 and an A-6 (Navy jet) in eastern Oregon. There were no survivors in either crash, and both planes basically disintegrated on impact.

The B-24 crashed toward the end of WWII, and I want to say the A-6 crashed in 1973. Both were on training missions. There's a little bit about the B-24 here, but not much online about the A-6 crash.

Not much was recognizable. The engines on the B-24 were intact, and I was able to find what I think was the front landing gear. The plane caught fire after crashing, and the heat was so intense that some of the aluminum parts actually melted.

At the A-6 crash site, only the tail fin, which had separated from the rest of the plane, was substantially intact. I went with a friend who is a Navy vet, and he recognized some of the weapon hook-up parts on the A-6 ... what was familiar to him looked like random junk to me. You could also see a few parts of the cockpit. I suspect that at some point the Navy took whatever was left of the jet engines.

From the nearest 4x4 trail it was a mile walk across rolling sagebrush to the A-6 crash site. There were four horses there, and we had dogs, and there was one horse that was walking toward us instead of away. We put the dogs back in the truck and got a rifle — just to scare off the horses if they got close.

It was the most Cormac McCarthy-esque experience of my life: We were walking across open desert to a tail fin silhouetted on the horizon, armed with an assault rifle to ward off four metaphorical-seeming horses.

I should probably say that this is pretty much every single thing I know about plane crashes, and knowing MetaFilter an NTSB investigator will be chiming in any second to correct any errors.
posted by compartment at 8:51 PM on July 10, 2013 [4 favorites]

I actually came here to comment on how amazing it is that all these planes are intact. I can't even conceive of how a plane this big can land so perfectly intact on top of a rocky hilltop. Does it just float out of the sky like a feather?

Beautiful images though, thanks for posting this.
posted by nevercalm at 4:54 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

My guess is it must have been a masterful crash landing up the slope and a fuckton of luck that the run has ended where it did.
My guess is as good as yours though, as IANAP.
posted by hat_eater at 5:28 AM on July 11, 2013

It must have landed in winter when the rocks were buried under snow and ice--no way that plane would still be in one piece otherwise.
posted by cardboard at 7:31 AM on July 11, 2013 [2 favorites]

posted by hat_eater at 1:16 PM on July 11, 2013

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