iPhone survives the ultimate drop test–from a plane at 16,000 feet

Macworld

An iPhone that was sucked out of Alaska Airlines flight 1282 during a depressurization on January 5 is still working after being found on the side of a road.

Sean Bates discovered the iPhone while walking on Barnes Road in Portland, Oregon. Bates posted on X (formerly Twitter) that the device, “Survived a 16,000 foot drop perfectly in tact [sic]!” The iPhone had a 44 percent battery charge and was in Airplane mode.

Found an iPhone on the side of the road… Still in airplane mode with half a battery and open to a baggage claim for #AlaskaAirlines ASA1282 Survived a 16,000 foot drop perfectly in tact!

When I called it in, Zoe at @NTSB said it was the SECOND phone to be found. No door yet😅 pic.twitter.com/CObMikpuFd

— Seanathan Bates (@SeanSafyre) January 7, 2024

In a video follow-up on TikTok, Bates says that the iPhone did not have the lock screen activated, so he was able to access the phone. When he did, he saw a baggage receipt from Alaska Airlines. Bates points out in a follow-up X post that the charger connection was still plugged into the phone, but the cable was yanked from the connector.

@seansafyre

quick story of how I found a phone that dropped 16,000 feet 😅 definitely belonged to a passenger on #alaskaairlines #asa1282 pics are on X

♬ original sound – Sean Bates

It’s not clear as to the model of the iPhone, but since it has a Dynamic Island, it’s at least an iPhone 14 Pro and could be an iPhone 15 or iPhone 15 Pro. The iPhone was in a case and had a screen protector, and Bates found the iPhone under a bush that seemingly helped break the phone’s fall.

Bates reported the finding to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and an agent mentioned that the iPhone was one of two mobile phones from the flight that was found. No reports have been made on the condition of the other phone.

The Find My functionality in iOS needs Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular connectivity to work, but Airplane mode, by default in iOS, turns off this connectivity. So using Find My to locate the phone would have been unsuccessful.

On January 5, a Boeing 737 Max 9 plane took off from Portland International Airport and reached 16,000 feet in the air when a door plug became detached from the plane, causing a depressurization of the cabin. Several items were sucked out of the plane, but the plane was able to return to the airport will all 174 passengers and six crew members on board. The Federal Aviation Administration ordered the grounding of all Boeing 737 Max 9 planes a day after the accident.

iPhone

​Macworld Macworld

An iPhone that was sucked out of Alaska Airlines flight 1282 during a depressurization on January 5 is still working after being found on the side of a road.

Sean Bates discovered the iPhone while walking on Barnes Road in Portland, Oregon. Bates posted on X (formerly Twitter) that the device, “Survived a 16,000 foot drop perfectly in tact [sic]!” The iPhone had a 44 percent battery charge and was in Airplane mode.

Found an iPhone on the side of the road… Still in airplane mode with half a battery and open to a baggage claim for #AlaskaAirlines ASA1282 Survived a 16,000 foot drop perfectly in tact!When I called it in, Zoe at @NTSB said it was the SECOND phone to be found. No door yet😅 pic.twitter.com/CObMikpuFd— Seanathan Bates (@SeanSafyre) January 7, 2024

In a video follow-up on TikTok, Bates says that the iPhone did not have the lock screen activated, so he was able to access the phone. When he did, he saw a baggage receipt from Alaska Airlines. Bates points out in a follow-up X post that the charger connection was still plugged into the phone, but the cable was yanked from the connector.

@seansafyre quick story of how I found a phone that dropped 16,000 feet 😅 definitely belonged to a passenger on #alaskaairlines #asa1282 pics are on X ♬ original sound – Sean Bates

It’s not clear as to the model of the iPhone, but since it has a Dynamic Island, it’s at least an iPhone 14 Pro and could be an iPhone 15 or iPhone 15 Pro. The iPhone was in a case and had a screen protector, and Bates found the iPhone under a bush that seemingly helped break the phone’s fall.

Bates reported the finding to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and an agent mentioned that the iPhone was one of two mobile phones from the flight that was found. No reports have been made on the condition of the other phone.

The Find My functionality in iOS needs Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular connectivity to work, but Airplane mode, by default in iOS, turns off this connectivity. So using Find My to locate the phone would have been unsuccessful.

On January 5, a Boeing 737 Max 9 plane took off from Portland International Airport and reached 16,000 feet in the air when a door plug became detached from the plane, causing a depressurization of the cabin. Several items were sucked out of the plane, but the plane was able to return to the airport will all 174 passengers and six crew members on board. The Federal Aviation Administration ordered the grounding of all Boeing 737 Max 9 planes a day after the accident.

iPhone 

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