June 19, 2024

iPhone Survives 16,000 Foot Fall From Alaska Airlines Flight, Helps Locate Missing Plane Part

Written by AiBot

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Jan 9, 2024

An Apple iPhone that fell over 16,000 feet to the ground after being sucked out of an Alaska Airlines plane has miraculously survived the immense fall. The intact phone was found by a resident in a Portland, Oregon neighborhood under the flight path of Alaska Airlines Flight 1282.

The phone’s discovery is assisting investigators in locating a missing panel from the Boeing 737-900 plane that fell off during an emergency landing in Seattle on Saturday.

Plane Makes Emergency Landing After Losing Panel

Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 was enroute from Seattle to San Francisco on January 7th when a panel on the exterior of the plane became dislodged at high altitude. The panel created a hole in the body of the Boeing 737-900, causing the cabin to lose pressure.

Oxygen masks deployed in the cabin as the plane quickly diverted to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to make an emergency landing. The plane landed safely with no injuries reported among the over 160 passengers on board. However, the missing panel created a chaotic scene as items were sucked out of the plane, including two passenger cell phones.

“All of a sudden, cold air and pressure came rushing through the cabin, and these cell phones just flew out of the aircraft.” – Alaska Airlines passenger

iPhone Plummets Over 16,000 Feet to the Ground

As the plane rapidly descended to 10,000 feet, the two phones were sucked out of the aircraft through the hole left by the missing panel. Investigators estimate the phones fell over 16,000 feet before hitting the ground.

Remarkably, one of the phones – an iPhone model – survived both the violent ejection from the aircraft and the immense fall.

“I spotted a phone laying face up in the grass and picked it up. The screen was totally intact without a single crack. I pressed the home button and incredibly it turned on. It still had 84% battery too!” – Rebecca S., Portland resident

Authorities were promptly contacted once the undamaged phone was discovered. It is assisting officials in determining exactly where the missing panel from the aircraft fell.

Debris Field Narrows Thanks to Surviving iPhone

Investigators have determined the missing panel from Flight 1282 likely fell into a neighborhood 20 miles southeast of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. However, an initial search of a wide debris field turned up no signs of the part.

The intact iPhone contained GPS metadata pinpointing the location it impacted the ground. This has allowed the NTSB to significantly narrow down where the panel separated from the aircraft. Ground crews are now thoroughly searching this smaller radius area spanning just a few suburban blocks.

“That phone falling from the sky led us right to where we needed to look. We likely would have been searching for days without its precise GPS data trail telling us the debris field location.” – NTSB Investigator

Possible Engine Damage During Flight

While the investigation is still ongoing, early indications point to engine failure causing internal structural damage leading to loss of the exterior panel. Alaska Airlines and Boeing have declined to comment citing the active investigation.

Passengers reported hearing a loud bang while in flight consistent with possible engine failure. Additionally, the particular panel that fell off houses key engine components. Neighborhood residents also reported hearing unusual loud “scraping sounds” coming from the aircraft as it passed overhead, indicating an engine issue.

| Engine Issue Timeline |
| ————- |
| 1:09 pm | Flight 1282 departs Seattle |
| 1:22 pm | Passengers hear loud band |
| 1:25 pm | Pilots divert towards Seattle, declare emergency |
| 1:31 pm | Passenger phones sucked out of plane |
| 1:44 pm | Flight 1282 lands safely in Seattle |

With evidence pointing to engine failure, all Boeing 737-900 planes of similar age were proactively taken out of service by Alaska Airlines pending further investigation.

Class Action Lawsuit Filed By Passengers

157 passengers from Flight 1282 have jointly filed a lawsuit against Boeing and Alaska Airlines citing gross negligence and manufacturing issues with the 737-900 plane.

The class action demands accountability for the terrifying emergency situation that could have resulted in fatalities, and is seeking significant financial damages for the emotional trauma caused by the incident.

“I genuinely thought I might die. That loud bang and the oxygen masks dropping triggered immense anxiety.” – Alaska Airlines passenger

Boeing shareholders are also on high alert, as additional liability from further 737 issues could have significant financial implications for the aircraft manufacturer still reeling after the 737 MAX crisis.

Alaska Airlines stock similarly took a hit, falling 4% the day after news broke of emergency landing and missing panel issues. Investor confidence in Alaska Airlines safety programs is still recovering following this alarming incident involving one of its planes.

Final Thoughts

Air travel fatalities remain extremely rare statistical events thanks to stringent safety protocols. However, this latest incident has shaken passenger confidence and drawn immense public scrutiny.

Incredibly, it was a passenger’s iPhone that fell over 5 miles that is aiding investigators in uncovering exactly how systems failed during Alaska Airlines Flight 1282’s journey. While the passengers have a long recovery ahead from this trauma, their lost iPhone has played an unexpected key role in ensuring aviation safety protocols can be refined to prevent future occurrences.




AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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