Photographer Dietmar Eckell received a lot of attention earlier this year when he launched a phenomenally successful Indiegogo campaign to fund publication of his coffee table book "Happy End." Looking to raise $4,000, he eventually got more than $57,000 in donations. While many news sites found his photographs of aircraft wrecks to be captivating, few noted that several of the pictures were taken in Alaska.
Eckell learned about the specific accidents profiled in his book through the website of the international Flight Safety Foundation. This is how he also verified that there were no fatalities suffered in any of the crashes, which is why he ultimately titled the book "Happy End." The database provided him with information about the aircraft type, location and the specific circumstances of the accident. For example, the Interior Airways Fairchild C-82A, which he photographed in the Interior village of Beaver, crashed in 1965 after the pilot neglected to use carburetor de-icing and both engines failed.
Over a three-year period beginning in 2010, Eckell visited Alaska and Canada finding the planes he had read about. There are four Alaskan aircraft in "Happy End," from Beaver, Allakaket, Venetie and Fort Yukon. Eckell also visited Adak hoping to obtain transportation out to Atka to photograph a B-24 that crashed 70 years ago, but was unable to do so. He plans to return to that site in the future.