Author Topic: An iPhone fell from an Alaska Airlines flight and still works. Scientists explain how.  (Read 245 times)

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Online Elderberry

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USA TODAY by Dinah Voyles Pulver 1/9/2024

Even as serious questions emerged about why a door plug flew off one of Alaska Airlines’ new Boeing jets last week and forced an emergency landing, one question was on the mind of many cellphone users: How in the world did an iPhone reportedly fall 16,000 feet from the aircraft and survive intact?

Social media channels were abuzz with discussion and speculation over how the phone could have still been operable and whether the phone’s survival might find its way into an advertising campaign. USA TODAY reached out to two scientists who explained how physics would have played a role.

David Rakestraw, a senior scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, works with students as part of the laboratory's science and math education program. He often talks with students about cellphones, phone drop tests, and how students can do sophisticated experiments with their phones.


Seanathan Bates
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😅