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An unlocked iPhone somehow survived a 16,000 foot-drop from Alaska Airlines plane

That's a greater height than the tallest peak in the Alps.

Published onJanuary 8, 2024

iPhone 14 Pro in hand
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
  • An X user has apparently found an iPhone that blew out of an Alaska Airlines jet.
  • The jetliner had to make an emergency landing after part of the cabin blew out, leaving a hole.
  • The phone still seemed to work and was seemingly undamaged.

An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max jetliner suffered a major issue on Friday when part of a door blew off during a flight, resulting in cabin depressurization and an emergency landing.

Now, it looks like a working iPhone has been recovered after falling out of the plane at an apparent altitude of 16,000 feet (4,877 meters). X user Sean Bates claims to have found an iPhone belonging to a passenger on the flight as he was walking down the road.


Interestingly, the smartphone doesn’t seem to have suffered from any damage, according to a photo posted by Bates (see first image above), showing the device with a case on it. The phone still had 44% juice left and was on airplane mode. In saying so, part of the charging cable was still attached to the device. 

What’s even more surprising was the fact that the device didn’t seem to have a passcode or biometric lock enabled, with the phone showing an Alaska Airlines baggage receipt.

An NTSB employee apparently told Bates that this was the second phone from the flight to be found. There’s no word on the condition of the first phone, though. Nevertheless, even one phone surviving a 16,000-foot drop is still crazy stuff. Put another way, this fall was greater than the height of Mont Blanc, which is the tallest peak in the Alps. 

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