Once Crail realized that the eight-inch flames were coming from her iPhone, she shoved the flaming handset under another passenger's chair. That caused the flames to grow even higher (and certainly didn't endear her to the rest of the passengers!).
Thankfully, the flight crew was well trained and quickly put out the fire. When former pilot and industry expert John Nance was asked if iPhones should be banned from flight because of the possibility that they could start a fire, he said that this sort of situation happens infrequently. He did say that the fire shows why those carrying a smartphone on board a plane should have it set to airplane mode. This prevents the phone from constantly searching for a signal, which can heat up the battery.
As for Thursday's incident, neither the FCC or Apple returned calls for comment. We've seen a number of cases over the years where an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy S device has spontaneously combusted. In August 2014, a passenger boarding for a flight from Tel-Aviv, Israel to Prague, Czech Republic noticed that her Apple iPhone 5 had started smoking. After a brief delay, the plane was cleared to take off and had an uneventful flight.
source: KOMO via CNET