In a remarkable turn of events, an iPhone plunged 16,000 feet (5,000 meters) from an Alaska Airlines flight and miraculously survived the fall without a single crack on the screen and with the battery still half-charged. This incident occurred when a fuselage panel blew off, creating a gaping hole, and causing the phone to be sucked out of the aircraft. However, the passenger plane, Flight 1282, managed to make an emergency landing safely, ensuring that all passengers on board were unharmed.
The sudden depressurization of the cabin resulted in several items being forcefully ejected from the aircraft. This included AirPods and a boy’s shirt, which had more dramatic landings compared to the iPhone. The search for debris led to the discovery of the iPhone by Sean Bates, a resident of Washington state. Bates stumbled upon the phone on the side of the road, and it seemed to belong to one of the passengers.
A photo shared on social media showed the iPhone’s intact screen and a baggage receipt, worth $70, that was emailed to the device. The battery was still charged to 44 percent, and the phone remained on flight mode. Other than the charger port, which was damaged due to being ripped from the cord, the rest of the phone appeared untouched. Bates described the phone as clean with no visible scratches, as it was found sitting under a bush.
After finding the phone, Bates contacted the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to report his discovery. Surprisingly, the NTSB informed him that this was the second phone from the same flight that had been found. Jennifer Homendy, the Chair of the NTSB, responded to Bates’ social media post, expressing gratitude and offering to meet with him.
During a briefing, Homendy commended the fortunate outcome of the incident, stating that the NTSB would examine the phones and eventually return them to their owners. She emphasized the importance of thorough investigations to prevent such incidents from resulting in tragedy.
Following the incident, regulatory bodies took swift action and temporarily grounded certain versions of Boeing’s 737 MAX 9 jet for inspections. This precautionary measure led to a significant plunge in Boeing’s shares during trading on Monday.
In conclusion, the survival of the iPhone after a 16,000-foot fall from an Alaska Airlines flight is indeed a remarkable occurrence. The intact condition of the phone, along with its partially charged battery, has captured the attention of many and serves as a reminder of the unpredictability of such incidents. It also highlights the measures taken by regulatory bodies to ensure the safety of passengers and the ongoing investigations to prevent similar incidents in the future.