The drop test to end all drop tests — this iPhone survived a 16,000-foot plummet from an Alaska Airlines flight that lost its door mid-cruise

iPhone after plummeting from a plane
(Image credit: @SeanSafyre)

It’s many people’s worst nightmare — the door of an aircraft tearing off mid-flight, the pressurized cabin suddenly losing all semblance of safety. Air whirling around, people screaming, the O2 masks falling from the ceiling of the aircraft… and your iPhone, torn from your hand with your baggage information still on screen.

The plane might land (and land, thankfully, did Alaska Airlines flight ASA1282 with no casualties) but you’d imagine your iPhone, no matter how well you’ve wrapped it in a case and screen protector, is about to meet a sticky end after a very, very long drop.

You would have been very, very wrong — as this sturdy, and now ultimate drop-tested iPhone reveals.

Drop me from an aircraft without a chute and I don’t think I’d look as good

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X user Seanathon Bates (@SeanSafyre) found the iPhone, in perfect condition we might add, on the side of the road when going for a walk. He called it into the NTSB, and the rest is history — but not before he was told that his was the second phone to be found from the same flight.

The state of the second phone is unknown, but from the pictures, this iPhone 14 Pro Max is in remarkable condition considering the experience it will have gone through. To put it in perspective, the phone will have plummeted the length of forty-four (and a bit) American football fields, or around 2667 Ben Afflecks. That’s a long way down. Even just the force of the iPhone being torn from its user's grip and through the door would have been terrifying — just look at that torn-off lightning connector!

Perhaps it's the fact that the phone was wrapped up safely in a protective case with a glass screen protector — or that the phone reached terminal velocity, and then had a nice soft landing into some thick grass. Either way — we want to know what screen protector is on there so that we can get one for ourselves — it absolutely deserves a place on the best screen protectors for iPhone 14 if it can protect a screen from a drop like that.

What happened to the door? Well, according to X user @realgreatwang (of course), it’s ended up on eBay. Classy.

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Tammy Rogers
Senior Staff Writer

As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.

  • flushd
    That's great.....mine couldn't even survive a drop onto my garage floor from waist a case!