iPhone 4 plunges 1,000 feet from airplane – still works perfectly

“Late last night, we received an email from U.S. Air Force Combat Controller Ron Walker, who wrote to share an incredible story about his iPhone 4,” Dave Caolo reports for TUAW.

“Airman Walker’s duties as a jump master require him to ensure that his aircraft is the the proper location before sending parachute jumpers into the air,” Caolo reports. “One week ago (on March 16), he stuck his body out of the open door to look for landmarks as the plane sped through the air at 130 knots (about 150 m.p.h.). As he did, the Velcro seal on his pocket flew open, and out popped his iPhone.”

Caolo reports, “Not only was the iPhone undamaged, Airman Walker reports, it was in perfect working order — ‘not a scratch on it, not even dirty.'”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Manny S.” and “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

39 Comments

        1. yeah. its annoying as hell. my iPad, mom’s iPad, my iPhone mom’s iPhone…. all have the same settings. but my iPhone wont auto correct in safari (only, works everywhere else)

          May have to reset the iPhone to factory and see if something is just screwed up.

  1. The story is probably fake. An “airman” is a junior enlisted (E-4 or below) in the Air Force. A jumpmaster is usually a senior parachutist — i.e. a senior enlisted or officer.

    Where do we have Air Force people jumping out of airplanes right now? Probably nowhere except school. Army, Marine Corps, and Special Forces may be doing real world jumps outside a school environment over in Bush’ and Obama’s conflicts. Each of these groups has its own jumpmasters even if the Air Force provided the plane.

    Could be wrong, but I don’t think the Air Force has ATVs. I doubt the other three groups mentioned would lend out theirs to retrieve a phone. Also, the distance away (only 2 miles) doesn’t make sense if the plane was traveling at some point at 130 knots plus whatever speed to reach that point.

    1. Why would you assume that these guys were down range and NOT at a school. Being at a school house with this incident happening during a training event actually makes a lot more sense than a real-world event. And ATV just means All Terrain Vehicle. The AirForce certainly has those. Regardless, the ATV in question could have been privately owned.

    2. Air force doesn’t have atv’s?….
      I guess the dozen or so my parents sold to the local airbase here don’t exist either. And I know 2 of them went to Afghanistan.
      My parents were yamaha dealers, and they were paid by DoD accounts.

      The part of the story I find questionable, the no dirt/scratch part. Rest I can believe.

    3. I suggest that you avail yourself of the information available on the www about the role of an Air Force Combat Controller. Also note that an aircraft doesn’t always mean airplane. It’s obvious that you speak before thinking. There is a world of information that is just waiting for you. Enlighten your self and make more informed post.. And by the way the Air Force also has some boats…. Why bring any politician into the matter ??

    4. A Combat Controller and ATV go together like a Marine and a rifle. Thats how these dudes get around. I have worked with them and seen them. Comes with the job.

      Though very rare, you CAN be an E-4 (corporal) and be a Jumpmaster, provided you have the required prerequisites in experience. I completed Jumpmaster school as an E-5 in the Army.

  2. I was a Jumpmaster in the Army. When you are hanging out the door you are no closer than 30 seconds from the DZ, doing somewhere around 130 knots (fixed wing Air Force Aircraft)
    An iPhone falling out at this point is not going to be on the drop zone, but a a click or two away from it.

    A few things

    – a velcro pocket could easily be opened, assuming it is on your arm or maybe thigh. Torso will be covered in harness, reserve and combat equipment.
    -with find my iphone app or something similiar it could be found, if it wasnt destroyed and there was a signal at the DZ.
    -its likely the iPhone could impact the aircraft and be destroyed before impact with the ground.
    -its also likely to land in trees or sand, softening the blow.
    -I never saw an Air Force Jumpmaster, but always a loadmaster on every jump. Loadmasters dont do door checks, Jumpmasters do. If there are Jumpmasters in the Air Force they certainly would be Combat Controllers or ParaRescue guys.

    So, while it is possible this could be true and accurate, it’s highly unlikely.

    Everything checks out, the only doubt can be if the iPhone did indeed survive the ordeal.

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