The story within this image is that the engine has died and the pilot has climbed out to restart the propeller.
We have reached a point in our technology where we don’t really know how it works and cannot repair it. It wasn’t so long ago that if your car broke down, you had a pretty good chance of figuring out what was wrong and then fixing it yourself.
Our intrepid pilot could do this in 1936 (we hope), but could any of us repair a Blu-ray player?
We must expect ever more of this. We should expect technology ever more complex. This is not a bad thing. The fact that it wasn’t so long ago that a person could comprehend the technology around him simply shows how primitive civilization was. Not that we are making astonishingly complex tools today.
Incidentally, there is a lot of debate as to whether or not this photo is real. Within the online discussion threads, people point out that his hair and clothes do not appear to be moving and the differing shade of the shadow of his silhouette compared to the plane wing.