iPhone survives 16,000-foot drop from a plane with no damage

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An iPhone that fell from an Alaska Airlines plane at an altitude of 16,000 feet (4,877 meters) was found on the ground in perfect working condition.

The iPhone was one of the items that were sucked out of the plane when a door plug blew off during a flight on January 5, 2024. The incident caused cabin depressurization and forced the plane to make an emergency landing. No one was seriously injured on board the Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft.

The iPhone was discovered by a man named Seanathan Bates, who found the phone at the side of the road while walking in Portland. He posted a picture of the phone on X (formerly Twitter), showing that it had a case and a screen protector and had 44% battery left. The phone was also unlocked and showed a baggage receipt for Alaska Airlines Flight 1282.

Bates returned the phone to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is investigating the cause of the blowout.

The iPhone appears to be an iPhone 15 Pro or an iPhone 14 Pro, based on the design and the camera module. It features a ceramic shield front cover, which Apple claims is four times more drop-resistant than previous models.

The phone was not the only electronic device that survived the fall. The NTSB said that another phone was recovered from a yard, but did not specify the brand or model.

The Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 was grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) until inspections were completed. The FAA said that certain planes may have a manufacturing defect that affects the door plugs.


Bryan is a geek at heart and a tech enthusiast by choice. He has a strong background in corporate communications, marketing services, and customer relations having worked in the telecommunications and banking sectors for over two decades. In his spare time, he enjoys watching clips on YouTube and binge watching shows on Netflix.

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