Dietmar Eckell, a German photographer based in Thailand, has assembled an impressive collection of images of aircraft wrecks from across the world. The photos are to be featured in a book, “Happy Endings”, that Eckell plans to publish.
As the title suggests, the passengers and crew survived the crashes that brought each of the aeroplanes they were aboard to grief, and its these stories that Eckell now hopes to tell.
Window seats are generally favoured over aisle ones, the research found, with six per cent more bookings. It also revealed that fliers will slightly favour the right hand side of the aircraft over the left, with 54 per cent of passengers opting for that side.
This means I’m definitely weird… I’m usually on the left hand side, (it’s just where I seem to end up) and in an aisle seat (which I often request though, especially for longer flights).
As far as schedule and planning, I more or less going where the pilots go. I try to have a general direction that makes sense based on weather and where I’ve already been. “Anyone going southeast? Anyone going to Idaho?” But it doesn’t always work that way. I was trying to go to California once and wound up in Montana. The few times I’ve tried to plan to get to a specific place at a certain time, it’s been difficult. When I’m completely flexible and open to wherever, things are much easier. Sometimes the pilots give me options like, “I can drop you at one of these fuel stops,” so that I can choose a little based on what I want to see, or if I have a place to stay. But, a big part of the fun is the randomness of it: landing in small towns that I would never have otherwise thought to visit.
The hardest part of flying an aeroplane is landing, that I learned from my days buzzing about in Cessna 152s. Misjudge your height, approach speed, cross winds, and, well, you may have to overshoot, or go around, and hopefully you’ll have that luxury open to you.
Landing a craft much larger than a Cessna 152, with or without flight experience, is likely another matter however. In the event then you ever hear the dreaded words “does anyone aboard have piloting experience” while on a flight, hopefully this guide to landing an aeroplane if you are not a pilot will be helpful:
Anyone who plays with a flight simulator should get to this point without any instructions, but now things will get stupidly fast. Adrenaline and not knowing what you are doing are the main reasons for this. To land you will have to forget everything you know about xplane of microsoft’s flight simulator. Using small movements you will keep the runway between your legs. Be patient, do only small corrections, if you over correct you will start zigzagging. Airplanes are like kayaks, they are always skidding and inertia make things take a bit longer, you need to wait for you input to make a difference. (this impression is actually caused by our notion of space).
I whiled away many a lazy afternoon – and over the summer, evening – in Richmond Park, just outside of London. While I could talk at length about the park’s many attractions, one thing we used to marvel over was the constant procession of aircraft lining up to land at Heathrow airport, as the flight path was very close to the park.
While not filmed from Richmond Park, the above fast motion clip will give you a pretty good idea of what we used to see.