After part of the plane on an Alaska Airlines flight came off shortly after takeoff, some passengers lost their belongings before an emergency landing was made. However, at least one passenger’s phone was not only found after falling 16,000 feet, it even survived the drop.
Game designer Sean Bates found the phone in a bush off the side of the road Sunday. Not only was it still intact, it was working and even still on. In a post ox X, formerly Twitter, Bates said he was told it was actually the second phone found to come from the now-infamous flight. This detail was confirmed in a National Transportation Safety Board briefing over the weekend as well.
The phone appears to be in a case with a screen protector in place, which likely helped keep the smartphone intact. A connected charger wasn’t so lucky, apparently, as evidenced by an additional picture posted by Bates. He also said in a TikTok that the phone was clean and free of scratches. In it, the charger is still plugged in, but the cord is torn off, likely from when the phone went hurtling out of the plane.
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!
— Seanathan Bates (@SeanSafyre) January 7, 2024
“I wanted an excuse to go on a walk this afternoon, and the NTSB had asked people to go and report anything that looks like it [fell] out of the recent Alaska Airlines accident,” Bates said in a TikTok.
Bates said he was skeptical at first, acknowledging it could have been dropped by someone not midair. However, he said the phone didn’t have a screen lock on it, so when it opened still in airplane mode and displaying a baggage claim ticket from Alaska Airlines, he was convinced and called the NTSB.
In the weekend briefing, the NTSB said two phones were found, one (which was likely the one Bates uncovered) was collected on the side of the road, and another found in a yard. There’s no word so far it seems on the condition of the second phone or if either has yet been united with their owner.
Still, it’s nice to see good Samaritans helping after the accident. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured during the mid-air incident either. However, more items, including personal belongings and plane parts, are still missing. In the weekend briefing, the NTSB asked people to keep an eye out, check doorbell cameras, and even asked business to inspect their roofs to see if anything from the plane could be uncovered.
Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.