Apple iPhone 4 falls 1,000 feet from an airplane and survives

Apple iPhone 4 falls 1,000 feet from an airplane and survives
For those who thought that the current iPhone design had too much glass to withstand drops and the average rough handling that a smartphone goes through in the course of its life, here is a story that just might surprise you.

U.S. Air Force Combat Controller Ron Walker was flying at 130 knots (that's 150 mph for you non aeronautical types) when he decided to stick his head out the window of the plane to look for landmarks. The velcro on his shirt failed and out dropped the handset, plummeting it's way toward earth from 1,000 feet up. Walker thought to himself that he would have to buy a new iPhone and continued with his piloting duties.

Once back on terra firma, Walker and a friend used 'Find my iPhone' and some ATV's and sure enough, the Apple iPhone was found in working condition in a wooded area inbetween a two-lane highway and a lake. Not only that, but protected only by a Griffin Motif TPU case and some metal backing on the back, the device did not suffer even one scratch.

A very impressive performance by the Apple iPhone which really tells you about the build quality of the handset. And once his iPhone was found, Walker used it to send an e-mail about the incident to the source to prove that it remains in perfect working condition.

source: ilounge

Related phones

iPhone 4
  • Display 3.5" 640 x 960 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Processor Apple A4, Single core, 1000 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB
  • Battery 1420 mAh(7.00h 3G talk time)



1. Phonecall01 unregistered

the question is : What did it land on ?

5. jd829

Posts: 155; Member since: Feb 24, 2010

a pillow factory

26. ps1001

Posts: 65; Member since: Dec 14, 2010

maybe landed on that firefox-blondie....

47. jogutier

Posts: 324; Member since: Feb 12, 2010

Phonearena is really showing their colors with this article. lol We get, everyone at Phonearena got a Crapple 4 for their continueing support of Apple products. :)

50. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

hey all u people can shut about about phone arena cause if u remember they had a whole thing on how the droid incredible got shot with a bullet. nobody says shit then, but now its holy crap how r they getting paid. honestly, do u think apple needs to pay them? they get unbelievably rich by producing a single phone each year...

2. Stan unregistered

Color me skeptical.

3. duder unregistered

Well its not like it would build up tons of speed, if anything it slowed down alot before it hit the ground, if it even fell out at all idk why this counts as news

17. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

wow.. you failed basic science class. the phone would have reached terminal velocity (9.8 meters/sec) within a few hundred feet. Everything falls at the same speed without wind resistance. A small phone isnt going to have much wind resistance. This story said the phone was in a big case with some custom metal backing as well and it fell in a soft wooded spot. Yea, its still impressive (and it proves how much u need a good case), but its not a bare iphone falling 3 feet on cement which is what normally happens (and breaks it).

28. Eingild unregistered

Sir, the phone dropped 1000 feet above the ground. I guess air resistance should not be ignored in this situation. Maybe the phone dropped on a stack of leaves or something soft like the soil or grass. It will not break by any means unless it is dropped on a cement. :)

32. rocker-guy

Posts: 13; Member since: Mar 24, 2011

lol... guess u also didnt work out well with your science class.. first of all terminal velocity doesnt necessarily have 9.8 m/s value rather it can be just any value where drag equates dropping force... what happens at this state is that the acceleration goes zero and body keeps falling with the same speed through out its journey... in this case perticularly,,, iphone would never have reached its terminal velocity... rather its velocity would have kept increasing by 9.8 m/s every next second... no matter whatever it would have fallen on... it must have hit with something lmore than 1000m/s speed... and yes.. if it really didnt get damaged as reported... then clap not for iphone but for guys luck... :)

45. Dynamic unregistered

Wow, you are wrong. If you drop a penny off the empire state building, does it kill someone? No, gravity can only pull the item to the ground so fast, it's weight, size, resistance, etc... comes into play. The iPhone would have hit a maximum speed and maintained that speed through the rest of the flight, not just constantly increasing in speed. This is impressive irrelevant of what it fell on. Doesn't look to be "muddy", so my guess is it fell on something that did pad the fall some. Also a good case obviously helps out.

52. rocker-guy

Posts: 13; Member since: Mar 24, 2011

dynamic... weight has literally no role to play with falling of body... no matter whats its size is.. the body will keep falling with the same speed.... also, drag doesnt depend on the mass of body... come over.. you need to be given a science class serioulsy...

49. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

ya rocker guy, uh if u were right then the rain would kill us... it obviously has a maximum speed

51. rocker-guy

Posts: 13; Member since: Mar 24, 2011

LUcas777... no dude... rain never can.. because as the rain drop falls it reaches its terminal velocity right after 1 second of its fall and then it keeps falling with the same speed... try to understand the fact that terminal velocity is dependent on size... which in caseof rain drop is very small... also minor drag on rain drop has a major role to play... which is almost negligible when it comes to talkin about fall of iphone...

53. Eingild unregistered

rocker-guy Dude, why do you keep on giving your own comment a thumbs-up?

54. Eingild unregistered

Oh and btw, you could not just ignore air resistance in this situation. It may be a free falling body but it is not in an ideal environment where air resistance could be ignored. Only in a vacuum that you can ignore everything else. You speak so highly of yourself as if you now everything. Maybe you should go back to school and learn Science "again".

55. rocker-guy

Posts: 13; Member since: Mar 24, 2011

u know what Eingild... ur funny... ignoring resistance in terminal velocity case... its like ur ignoring ur girlfriend in dating... this time.. thumbs up for you my friend... :p

56. ChrisTheTechGuy

Posts: 85; Member since: Nov 04, 2010

wait a minute....we're all talking about terminal velocity of an iPhone....and we're all arguing about science. you all know terminal velocity takes different amounts of time based on the object right? and how the hell do ANY of you know what the terminal velocity of an iPhone 4 is, I am pretty sure that test has never been done. This argument is stupid as hell. Its obvious the iphone fell on something soft since it said "THERE WASNT EVEN A SCRATCH ON IT", or this story is a fake. Shut your fanboy idiot selves up and just look at the facts of this story being stupid as hell.

4. XxVerbalxX unregistered

strangley this iphone had a different IMEI and there were steve job tracks leading away from it....

6. XxVerbalxX unregistered

terminal velocity of it isnt very hit leaves 1st and landed in soft dirt and not a rock.....yeah i guess it could happen. with any phone.

7. clevername

Posts: 1436; Member since: Jul 11, 2008

@duder brush up on your physics. From a thousand feet up it would reach terminal velocity. It wouldn't slow down. Even if it fell flat side down the whole way it would still achieve the same velocity. Aside from that, it most likely fell on natural ground-dirt or ruffage- and not a road. That's what the story insinuated anyway. Even with that it's still quite a feat but apple isn't the only one to congratulate. The case helped to spread the shock around. Still the case couldn't have absorbed all the kinetic energy so apples design combined with the case are definitely a winning combination.

8. clevername

Posts: 1436; Member since: Jul 11, 2008

@XxverbalxX "terminal velocity of it isn't that fast" all objects fall the same speed if the same gravity effects it. Regardless of size or weight. But your about right about one thing. If the landing spot was soft like grass, any smartphone with a case and decent build quality could have survived

16. physics unregistered

Terminal velocity isn't the same for all objects when there's air's only the same if they're falling in a vacuum...

18. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

terminal velocity is 9.8 meters per second. .for anything. Wind resistance slows it down, but an object that dense and slim is not going to incur much wind resistance. Publicly educated im assuming.. lol

23. giantgnome

Posts: 67; Member since: Feb 11, 2011

Lol you guys are really unbelievable. Do you guys even know what terminal velocity is? It's the speed(velocity) you move at when you are no longer accelerating because the force of drag now equals the force of gravity. This is dependent on the size, shape, weight, and orientation of the object so a phone falling facedown versus edge-down would actually reach a slower terminal velocity. And no, terminal velocity is NOT 9.8 meters for all objects lol. Acceleration in a vacuum is, but not terminal velocity.

31. clevername

Posts: 1436; Member since: Jul 11, 2008

You statement depends on one truth that will never be. The iPhone will not fall face down or edge own the whole way. It will spin.

30. clevername

Posts: 1436; Member since: Jul 11, 2008

It's not the public education. I had that. It's the drugs.

34. rocker-guy

Posts: 13; Member since: Mar 24, 2011

@remxfa... terminal velocity doesnt have a constant value.. it can be just any value with the only condition that upward acting drag equals the downward acting mass...

33. rocker-guy

Posts: 13; Member since: Mar 24, 2011

@clevername.. update your knowledge.. terminal velocity certainly matters on SIZE... check out its formula... there is a designation as "R" in the formula...which stands for radius... or we can say the size...

38. ATTCallCenter unregistered

Silly nerds, Trix are for kids! Everyone knows that the terminal velocity is dependent on the size of the cat that sleeps in your backyard multiplied by what color shirt you wore last Thursday divided by the RPM's of the planes engine when it fell, multiplied by the magnitude of the japanese earthquake. Only then you can figure out the terminal velocity of the iPhone when it fell.

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