Dietmar Eckell traveled the world to document aviation miracles for Happy End. Not only did every passenger in the planes he photographed make it out alive but all were rescued from incredibly remote locations. "Dancing On Thin Ice, Happy End #9.1" shown here, taken in Canada in 2012.

The series is another from Eckell’s portfolio loosely themed around the concept of Restwert (“residual value” in German), which chronicles abandoned places of worship, desolate fun fairs and waterslides, derelict hotels, and more. Here’s another pic from Canada.

"Never Eat More than You Can Lift, Happy End #5.1" was also taken in Canada, in 2011. For Eckell, rather than focus on the details of the wrecks, it’s important to capture each plane within its natural surroundings (and permanent home).

Way, way out in the middle of the West Sahara. Surviving a crash landing is amazing enough, but to get rescued? Sheesh. Unreal.

"The Scenic Route to Nowhere, Happy End #3.1" was taken in Mexico in 2010, and has lasted through the endless high and low tides ever since.

"Landing on the Red Planet, Happy End #14.1" was taken earlier this year in Australia.

"Knock on Wood, Happy End #11.3" taken last year in the U.S.

Even though these images are representative of best-worst case scenarios--they are still seriously haunting. It’s hard not to imagine the harrowing terror the passengers must have experienced on the way down.


Surreal Photos Of The World's Most Miraculous Plane Crash Sites

Dietmar Eckell traveled the globe documenting the remains of aviation miracles—plane crashes in the middle of nowhere, in which everyone survived.

Dietmar Eckell is a photographer with the soul of an archaeologist, forever fascinated with the tension between long-forgotten man-made ruins and the natural landscape that eventually envelops them. Happy End is his latest series to explore this idea, documenting plane crashes—from the shores of Canadian lakes to the sands of the West Sahara—where everyone aboard miraculously survived. Now, the wrecks remain exactly as they landed, slowly becoming part of the remote scenes.

The subject matter is the stuff of nightmares; it’s impossible to look at the images without white knuckles. Without context, they’re devastating. Finding out there were no fatalities is an amazing, surreal reveal, and suddenly the backstories become as compelling as the pictures themselves. Eckell researched the project for almost three years, tracking down locations via Google Earth and online archives, then following up with locals to piece together more particulars.

He’s currently funding a hardcover Happy End book via Indiegogo, with his photographs accompanied by harrowing-yet-uplifting tales from those who lived to tell the tale. He’s also created an extensive making-of journal with behind-the-scenes details from his own journey to complete the set (access is available for a mere $9 contribution!).

It’s well, well worth a look through Eckell’s portfolio, loosely themed around the concept of Restwert ("residual value" in German), which chronicles abandoned places of worship, desolate fun fairs and waterslides, derelict hotels, and more.

Contribute to the Happy End Indiegogo campaign here.

(h/t Colossal)

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