A photo series and book by Dietmar Eckell, Happy End looks to airplanes in unexpected context: on the ground, in nature. The subjects include 15 planes which were safely landed and then left behind. Each images reflects a story that averted tragedy with both luck and the skill of the pilot and crew. Additionally, the pictures show the unique relationship between these machines and their new, natural surroundings.
For the majority of planes that go through a “forced landing,” a junkyard is their next home. But, sometimes, the machine is left to become a weather-worn artifact. That’s the fate of Eckell’s planes, strewn across land and sea in places as far-ranging as Iceland and Papua New Guinea. The above-ground planes, in particular, are marked by a paradoxical intermingling of power and powerlessness. They seem somewhat like beached whales in how they at once remind of and go beyond their past grandeur.
Part of Eckell’s ongoing project exploring “restwert,” or “residual value,” Happy End explores what happens to man-made objects when they’re abandoned. The beautiful collection can be viewed in part on Eckell’s website and purchased as a book on its successfully funded Indiegogo page (look for the Paypal links in the description).