In one of the more amazing stories of iPhone drop survival we’ve heard, iLounge reader and U.S. Air Force Combat Controller Ron Walker has shared the story of how his iPhone 4 improbably survived a 1,000 foot fall from an airplane. According to Mr. Walker, who works as a Jump Master, ensuring that the airplane is in the correct position when he sends parachute jumpers out of the aircraft, the plane was traveling at 130 knots (roughly 150 mph) when he stuck his body out of the plane door to look for landmarks. At that point, one of his pockets opened and his iPhone took flight before plunging to the ground. “Well, guess I’ll be buying a new phone,” he thought to himself, and continued on with his duties.
Once on the ground, Mr. Walker shared the story with his co-workers, and ended up downloading the Find My iPhone app onto a friend’s phone. Within roughly a minute, the app had found his phone, which was roughly two miles away in a wooded area between a two-lane highway and a lake. Plotting the phone’s position on maps, Mr. Walker and a friend headed out on ATVs to see if they could track the phone down, if only so Mr. Walker could attempt to back up his data for transfer to a replacement unit. Within an hour, the two had pinpointed the phone’s location near a tree, ultimately finding the phone in complete working order, apparently with nary a scratch or patch of dirt on it. Mr. Walker says that the phone only had a Griffin Motif TPU case and an aftermarket metal backing on it for protection; he believes that the phone’s fall may have been slowed by tree leaves and needles as it made its way towards land.
Amazingly, the email Walker sent to iLounge was typed on the very iPhone 4 that survived the fall, making it the first we’ve ever received from a skydiving Apple product.
Update: We’ve added a photo of the now un-encased iPhone to the story.
Update: We’ve added another photo of the phone’s back to the story, as well as a couple of screenshots approximating the area in which the phone was found.