Gary Paulsen's Hatchet contains imagery throughout the novel that captures the isolation and fear Brian faces when he is suddenly stranded in the Canadian wilderness. The death of the pilot is one of the most descriptive sections of these first chapters:
The pilot was having a heart attack and even as the knowledge came to Brian he saw the pilot slam into the seat one more time, one more awful time he slammed back into the seat and his right leg jerked, pulling the plane to the side in a sudden twist and his head fell forward and spit came. Spit came from the corners of his mouth and his legs contracted up, up into the seat, and his eyes rolled back in his head until there was only white. (Chapter 1)
The narrator has previously described the pilot "part of the plane, not human," removing at least in part an emotional attachment to this man who ends up unexpectedly causing Brian's isolation. Here, Paulsen engages the reader's visual and auditory senses, helping to create this quick and tense scene. In fact, the first sentence reads breathlessly, linking lots of imagery together with minimal punctuation. The reader is able to gain a clear visual image of how quickly the tragedy happened and how Brian processes the shocking turn of events.
Another great piece of imagery in this section occurs in Chapter 3 when the plane is descending/crashing. In the final paragraphs of that chapter, there are specific details about the sounds and images in the impact, such as the "ripping of metal" and "water as hard as concrete."