The iPhone That Survived a 1000 Foot Drop from an Airplane


Here’s a pretty cool story. TUAW received an email from a US Air Force Combat Controller eager to share his exciting story about his iPhone 4 that fell out on the job.

As Ron Walker was checking for landmarks to prepare parachute jumpers up at 1000 feet, his iPhone 4 fell out of his pocket as the Velcro seal flew open. Ouch. The plane was traveling at 150 MPH (240 KMH!). Mr. Walker obviously assumed his precious iPhone 4 was gone forever and possibly destroyed from the fall, right? Wrong. Turns out one of his colleagues installed Find my iPhone on his phone!

Once on the ground, Mr. Walker and his colleague jumped onto ATVs and found his iPhone 4 in the woods 2 miles away. Surprisingly, it was still in perfect working condition, as Mr. Walker described, “not a scratch on it, not even dirty.” The phone was inside a Griffin Motif case, but that was about it.

Cool story. Not a lot of things survive a 1000 foot drop from a plane, let alone a phone. The moral of this story is that we should all super glue our iPhones to our hands (some of you already have done this). That way, it won’t be going anywhere.

Have you ever experienced a similar freak situation, only to have Find my iPhone bail you out?



  • Anonymous

    WOW. That’s what I call luck.

  • Urir10

    i call fake lol, how did the iphone had reception in the middle of the woods?

  • Totally. It helps when Find my iPhone is pretty accurate, down to metres.
    Impressive stuff.

  • Omar

    The same why my iPhone has reception in the middle of the woods? They could have been just above an airforce base, you know in a testing and prep area.

  • Anonymous

    Talk about luck. It took a small drop off my coffee table onto a wooden floor to smash my first iP4. Though I did drop and iPhone in a otterbox defender case off the top of a three story scaffold with out a scratch. I even continued my conversation when I climbed down to get it. Moral of the story. Get a case.

  • I had an iPhone 3GS fall down 6 stories in my building last year… it landed on a patch of grass and came out without a scratch too.

  • Yes it’s fun to use find my iPhone in the middle of the woods…

    But how do you use find my iPhone to go directly to your iPhone if you don’t even see your current position (if using find my iPhone on an other iPhone) or if there is no way to get the real gps coordinates?

  • Anonymous

    My phone survived a stock market crash better than I did. Didn’t have find my iDignity installed.

  • Dfas

    is this an advertisement for griffin motif case?

  • ML

    I was thinking exactly the same. The part about him /surprisingly/ finding out that his colleague installed a FMI app just doesn’t sound real. I recall having to enter my App Store credentials in two separate locations when installing this app. Unless he gave that to his colleague and forgot; unlikely though.

  • ML

    This post is once again a clear example of poor reporting. The part about his colleague installing the FMI app should have read as follows:

    >Once on the ground, Walker told a few friends what had happened, one of whom installed Apple’s
    >“Find My iPhone” app on his own handset in an attempt to locate Walker’s lost phone.

    Now, this makes sense. Mr. Founder and Editor-in-Chief, when re-telling the story try not to omit certain essential bits of information.

  • MSF 995

    I just dropped mine when I was getting out of a cab and it cracked my cheap antennagate case. But I’m happy I was wearing protection.

  • Jer

    The apple bumper case saved me at the gym when my iPhone 4 dropped from the treadmill while running and hit the treadmill next to me and landed on a concrete floor. Not bad, I expected to see it shattered.

  • Guest

    No it needs to be installed on the lost devices, not the tracking device… Your edit makes less sense, unless you communicated badly, which is just as bad.