Photo: Bradley Caslin (Shutterstock)
In recent years, “drop tests” have become a popular way to test the durability of new iPhones and their cases. As you might expect, these “tests” usually involve dropping the object from a predetermined height – be it a bridge, a helicopter, or the roof of the world's tallest building. Whether these tests are actually a useful barometer of durability or just an excuse to hurl expensive hardware from great heights is an open question, but the undeniable point is to see whether the device survives or not.
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The ultimate drop test occurred this weekend when an Alaska Airlines flight malfunctioned, causing part of the plane's fuselage to burst. The flight was en route from Portland, Oregon to California when part of its fuselage suddenly exploded. Thankfully no one was seriously injured in the horrific incident, but a number of carry-on bags were sucked out of the plane while the cabin was depressurized. Among these items was an iPhone, which then fell around 16,000 feet and miraculously landed unscathed on the side of the road.
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We know all this because An entry made for X over the weekend by Portland local Sean Bates. The National Transportation Safety Board recently called on locals to help search for plane debris, and Bates said he wanted to help. While walking, Bates came across an iPhone on the side of the road that appeared to be undamaged except for a broken charging cable that was still attached to the device.
In the aftermath TikTok video, Bates explains that he was initially skeptical that the phone actually came from the plane, but that skepticism disappeared after he managed to take a look at the contents. “It didn't have a screen lock, so I opened it and it was in airplane mode with a travel confirmation and baggage claim for Alaska 1282,” Bates says in the video. He then called the NTSB and turned the device over to the government. ABC News previously confirmed Bates' story with the NTSB.
In short: I would really like to know what kind of case the iPhone was packaged with. I'm currently looking for a new screen protector and any product that can survive a dive from an airplane is right at the top of my list.