Various pieces of wreckage of Oceanic Flight 815 ended up in numerous locations on and near the Island after the plane suffered a mid-air break-up and subsequently crashed on September 22, 2004. Those pieces and locations have been revealed, and occasionally revisited, in various episodes throughout the first four seasons of Lost.
The front section included the cockpit and, counting by the windows, the complete First Class with a maximum of 30 passengers. It crashed in a valley in the jungle, close to the beach where the middle section crashed.
Seth Norris, the plane's pilot, is the only known survivor from the front section, and he died shortly after he was found. The co-pilot died in the impact, and the passengers in the front section appear to have suffered a similar fate. However, Jack did not check any of these passengers for signs of life.
The front section was discovered the day after the crash by Jack, Kate, and Charlie, and originally tilted up at an angle. As they climbed up towards the cockpit, they passed several dead passengers still strapped into their seats. There were several empty seats, however, posing the question of whether or not passengers from that section of the plane survived. Shortly after the pilot, Seth Norris was found to be alive, he was pulled out of the cockpit by the Monster, and subsequently killed. Immediately following this, the tilted cockpit fell down flat onto the ground. Scared by the Monster, Jack, Kate and Charlie fled the cockpit and returned to their beach camp. ("Pilot, Part 1")
In early episodes, Sawyer was seen to have both a front class seat (which he later kept) and a glass window with the Oceanic logo, only seen at the front of first class before the plane crashed and in the cabin when it was visited by Jack, Kate, and Charlie. It can stand to reason that it is possible Sawyer visited the front section to loot for items, but how or why he managed to haul back such heavy objects when seats were plentiful at the crash site and the logo proved only as a decoration remains a mystery. ("Confidence Man")
More than three months after the crash, the front section served as a rendezvous point for the survivors after they had successfully contacted the freighter. It was here that the survivors split into two groups: Jack's group, who believed that the people on the freighter were coming to rescue them, and Locke's group, who decided to heed Ben and Charlie's warnings that the people aboard the freighter weren't who they said they were. Shortly before Daniel Faraday jumped off the helicopter piloted by Frank Lapidus, the helicopter briefly hovered over the front section of the plane, shining a spotlight at it. ("The Beginning of the End")
Note that the flight deck is entirely different from that found in a Boeing 777: it uses a glass cockpit and has three separate throttle levers instead of two. This all makes sense, as the show actually used a former Lockheed L-1011 to represent the plane wreckage, a plane manufactured without glass instruments and relying on three engines.
The middle section of the plane crashed on a beach distant from the Barracks. It included part of the Business Class where Boone and Shannon were seated. At least 48 passengers from the middle section survived the immediate crash, although Gary Troup died when he was sucked into an engine, causing it to explode. An unstable, tilted wing also exploded when it crashed to the ground, although presumably no one died from it. ("Pilot, Part 1") ("Pilot, Part 2") ("Walkabout")
Part of the wreckage of the middle section was used by the middle section survivors to build various shelters along the beach. A few days after the crash, wild boars, attracted by the scent of the dead bodies inside, started to rummage through the wreckage. As a result, the survivors decided to burn the fuselage with the dead bodies inside. ("Walkabout")
About three weeks after the crash, a sudden change in the tide prompted the middle section survivors to move their camp further down the beach. Subsequently, the middle section fuselage wreckage has never been seen since outside flashbacks. ("Whatever the Case May Be")
- Note:The real-life behind-the-scenes reason for this was that actual seasonal tides on the North shore of Oahu would have eventually flooded the shooting site for real, thereby submerging the fuselage set and causing an ecologial disaster. Therefore, an in-story reason had to be found for the survivors moving their camp to a different location.(Hearts and Minds audio commentary)
Part of the plane's cargo compartment was found by Jack near the caves, along with various objects that were in it, including luggage, a coffin and dolls. ("White Rabbit") A day later, Jack led Kate, Charlie, and Locke to the caves and told the latter two to look out for medical drugs. ("House of the Rising Sun")
The tail section crashed into the ocean on the other side of the island from the middle section, closer to the Barracks. ("A Tale of Two Cities") Twenty-two people from the tail section initially survived the crash, nearly all of whom had to swim to the nearby beach. Some smaller pieces of wreckage also landed on the beach. These survivors are often known as the "Tailies".
The day after the crash, a pair of seats from the middle section was put up on the beach, allowing Claire to rest on them. ("Pilot, Part 1") Sawyer also appropriated a seat for his own use, propped in front of his tent.
Another pair of Flight 815 seats was discovered underwater in a pond by Kate and Sawyer about three weeks after the crash. Still strapped to the seats were two dead passengers, one male and one female. Marshal Mars' Halliburton case, Nikki's Exposé script bag and various debris also ended up inside the pond with those seats. ("Whatever the Case May Be") ("Exposé")
Another pair of seats from the tail section of the plane ended up perched up in a tree. Bernard was found still strapped to one of the seats by Ana Lucia and Goodwin only minutes after the crash, while the passenger sitting next to him was already dead. Bernard was able to unbuckle his seatbelt and grab the tree before the seats fell out of the tree and crashed down to the ground, thus ensuring his survival. ("The Other 48 Days")
Mystery of the submerged wreckage
More than two months after the crash, purported wreckage of Flight 815 was discovered by remote operated vehicles deployed by a salvage ship, Christiane I, in the Sunda Trench near the Indonesian island of Bali. Footage of the bodies of crew members and passengers were released to the media for television broadcast, and an information hotline for their family members was established by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board. However, Frank Lapidus, upon watching a news broadcast about the discovery of the wreckage, quickly came to the conclusion that a body claimed to be that of the plane's pilot, Seth Norris, wasn't actually him. ("Confirmed Dead")
On the Island, both Naomi Dorrit and Anthony Cooper independently informed Flight 815 survivors that the entire plane wreckage and the bodies of all its passengers had been found. ("The Brig") Later, Captain Gault of the freighter ship Kahana, sponsored by Charles Widmore, showed Sayid and Desmond the flight recorder of Flight 815 Widmore had salvaged from the wreckage, and stated that as far as he was concerned, the wreckage found in the Sunda Trench was staged, thereby implying that Benjamin Linus was responsible.("Ji Yeon") Meanwhile, Tom had provided Michael Dawson with evidence that heavily implied that Widmore himself was responsible for the staged wreckage.("Meet Kevin Johnson")
An alternate version of the events leading up to the discovery of the wreckage was depicted in the Find 815 alternate reality game. Here, it was a single ROV operated by Sam Thomas, whereas in "Confirmed Dead", two ROVs were used, one of them being operated by a man named Ron and the other by an unnamed fellow crew member of his.
- For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: Flight 815 pieces/Theories
- Mid-air break-up
- Oceanic Flight 815
- Boeing 777
- Flight 815 seat numbers
- List of Oceanic Flight 815 survivors
- Middle section survivors