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IPhone 4 Survives 1,000 Foot Fall From Plane

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the self-writing-commercial dept.

Iphone 222

tekgoblin writes "From the article: 'US Air Force Combat controller Ron Walker had lost his iPhone 4 from his aircraft during flight. He works as a Jump Master, which is where he would ensure the airplane was in the correct position when he sends parachute jumpers out. The plane was moving at 150 mph and while looking out the door of the plane to find necessary ground landmarks his pocket opened and his iPhone flew out. When he noticed his phone fell, he thought all was lost. Upon landing and sharing the story with friends he installed the Find My iPhone app on one of their phones and went looking for his phone. He expected it to be battered from the fall but found the phone to be 100% un-damaged from the fall. The phone was protected by a Griffin Motif TPU iPhone case but it isn't clear whether the case protected the phone from the fall or the fact that it was cushioned by the brush that it hit.'"

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222 comments

Obviously (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35597592)

The pilot was holding it wrong.

Re:Obviously (1)

tekgoblin (1675894) | more than 2 years ago | (#35597604)

I see what you did there

F**k (1)

cranil (1983560) | more than 2 years ago | (#35597600)

That either makes the iPhone really cool or really lucky

Re:F**k (3, Funny)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#35597852)

Really lucky.

My colleague's broke when it fell off her desk.

Re:F**k (2)

MouseR (3264) | more than 2 years ago | (#35597940)

Maybe its your colleague that`s not lucky.

Re:F**k (4, Funny)

rasmusneckelmann (840111) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598040)

Your colleague should have kept a small shrubbery at the side of her desk to cushion falling objects (assuming that's the morale of the article).

Re:F**k (2)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598182)

The moral of this story is "Please buy an iPhone now not an Android phone so we can invest your money into designing a phone that can be used to make calls whilst being held with a human hand."

Disclaimer: I am the secretary of the Manchester (UK) Apple-Haters Association (AHA) so am guaranteed to produce comments from an an unbiased viewpoint.

Ni! (4, Funny)

.sig (180877) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598460)

Explains why the Knights wanted a shrubbery. How Monty Python knew about iPhones back then is anybody's guess though...

Survive pwn2own and then we will talk... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35598114)

They pwnd an iphone (pwn2own) in during the time it took the phone to hit the surface. Let me know when it survives the hackers.

Before I got a case... (1)

HimajinX (660666) | more than 2 years ago | (#35597606)

My old iPhone 4 shattered in a 3-foot fall from my pocket to the concrete... The new one hasn't had a scratch on it since, though.

Re:Before I got a case... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35597690)

My old iPhone 4 shattered in a 3-foot fall from my pocket to the concrete...
The new one hasn't had a scratch on it since, though.

iPhones are like cats, dropping them from less than 2 meters doesn't give them enough time to brace for impact. Drop it higher.

Re:Before I got a case... (1)

jittles (1613415) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598052)

I think what cushioned the fall was a giant mound of BS. I'd like to see you drop any sort of electronic device 10 feet into a bush and see it come out without a scratch. Its improbable. Bushes are quite good at scratching things, even at relatively low speeds.

Re:Before I got a case... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35598188)

Wood can't scratch glass, almost nothing can scratch glass. See: Hardness scale.

In a thousand foot drop, scratching is the least of your potential problems.

Glass screen could hit wood branch every day for a 1000 years and not get scratched.

Re:Before I got a case... (1)

atrain728 (1835698) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598284)

It had a case on it, so scratches on the device itself shouldn't be an issue.

On the other hand, bushes and dirt are quite good at slowing a falling object down in a nonviolent manner.

Re:Before I got a case... (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598326)

that isn't far from the truth.

My iphone has fallen from 12 feet onto concrete, and I only have a small chip in the housing to show for it.

It also depends on exactly how and where it hits. landing on a corner is actually better than landing on the glass. landing on a small stone is worse than landing flat, etc.

Re:Before I got a case... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35598400)

Well, obviously iphones are superior!! You can't talk before the drop, you can't talk after the drop - no damage done!!!!!!11!!

Re:Before I got a case... (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598472)

Lol sad but true. Low expectations FTW.

Re:Before I got a case... (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 2 years ago | (#35597696)

My old iPhone 4 shattered in a 3-foot fall from my pocket to the concrete...
The new one hasn't had a scratch on it since, though.

Obviously 3 feet didn't give it enough time to prep itself.

Re:Before I got a case... (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#35597802)

The problem is that the steve jobs reality distortion field makes the iPhone see this as only 2 inches.

Re:Before I got a case... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35597858)

Your pocket was holding it wrong.

Re:Before I got a case... (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598220)

I guess that when your target customer is retarded enough to hang out of a moving plane with an iPwn in an open pocket, they need to make 'em bouncy.

Disclaimer: I am the secretary of the Manchester (UK) Apple-Haters Association (AHA) so am guaranteed to produce comments from an an unbiased viewpoint.

frisyt po23123 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35597608)

first post niggers

Re:frisyt po23123 (2, Funny)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598258)

You missed your chance to make one hell of a "The Gods Must Be Crazy" reference.

Would make for an awesome episode, though.

"From the article" (4, Informative)

fotbr (855184) | more than 2 years ago | (#35597624)

That WAS the article, minus the last sentence.

So we know now that the iPhone 4 can survive a 1000ft fall as long as it doesnâ(TM)t hit concrete, I wonder if Apple will talk about this at one of their next iPhone announcements.

There, now you've read the entire article.

Re:"From the article" (2)

stepdown (1352479) | more than 2 years ago | (#35597780)

Here's the original article Tekgoblin refers to... http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/news/comments/iphone-4-survives-1000-foot-tumble-from-plane/ [ilounge.com]

Re:"From the article" (3, Insightful)

fotbr (855184) | more than 2 years ago | (#35597848)

Fair enough -- I refuse to participate in the "follow the trail of blogs linking to other blogs in the hope you might eventually find an original source", and I've (obviously) given up on slashdot submitters to find real sources when their favorite blog has a two bit summary they can use almost in it's entirety instead.

Re:"From the article" (3, Funny)

Woogiemonger (628172) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598048)

There, now you've read the entire article.

I don't think you know the gravity of what you've done. You've just popped the cherries of millions of the 98% of long-time /. readers who have never once RTFA. Now that they've had a taste, could it be a dawn of a new era?

Re:"From the article" (3, Funny)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598238)

No.

Re:"From the article" (1)

fotbr (855184) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598500)

We're both assuming they've actually read the summary.

So, no. It's not going to be a new era, unless you mean one in /. readers don't even read the comments, because that's about all that's left for them to ignore.

Chinese quality (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35597630)

I always knew that the Chinese manufacture the best equipment in the world.

Hardware Readouts? (1)

iMouse (963104) | more than 2 years ago | (#35597636)

I would love to see the accelerometer and gyroscope readouts on that thing during the fall. Too bad it probably doesn't log that info while in sleep.

Re:Hardware Readouts? (2)

alienzed (732782) | more than 2 years ago | (#35597792)

Ha! "iPhone falls 1000 feet and remains undamaged, doesn't even wake up."

G's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35597824)

I wonder how many G's it pulled when it hit.

Re:G's (1)

dragonxtc (1344101) | more than 2 years ago | (#35597980)

While my physics is a bit rusty, I believe G-Force is a objects acceleration relative to free fall. So I am going with zero G's

Re:G's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35598006)

The gp probably meant when it hit the ground, its deceleration.

Re:G's (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598086)

Well you definitely made a mistake there somewhere. You can't go from freefall speeds to a standstill with 0 Gs deceleration.

Re:G's (1)

Illicon (1588477) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598104)

My physics is rusty, if not non-existent, but I would guess 1 G.

Re:G's (1)

dragonxtc (1344101) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598148)

Yea that would make a bit of sense wouldn't it? =)

Re:G's (5, Informative)

Decorian (1620169) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598388)

It would read 1G after it had hit the ground (stationary lying on the ground), but during the impact, it would be far more than that. It would read 0G during freefall (as this is the definition of freefall). The deceleration as it hits the ground would be very high, (possibly even as much as 100G+) because the time to decelerate is so small, and the distance over which it decelerates is tiny.

Re:G's (1)

Tyler Durden (136036) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598430)

Dammit! Somebody finally gets the right answer and I'm all out of mod points.

Re:G's (1)

Decorian (1620169) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598438)

Of course, this is neglecting air-resistance, which I'm not sure is a valid assumption. Nevermind.

Big Deal (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35597642)

Big deal, I've lost my Nokia E51 from 4000 feet during parachute operations, same situation, fell into a bush. Only found it because of the anti-theft GPS Tracking software on it.

Re:Big Deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35597894)

Big deal, I've lost my Nokia E51 from 4000 feet during parachute operations, same situation, fell into a bush. Only found it because of the anti-theft GPS Tracking software on it.

Lier lier pants on fire, the Nokia E51 doesn't have GPS in it.

- A Nokia E51 user.

Re:Big Deal (2)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598002)

Liar yourself. I *am* a gps equipped Nokia E51. - Sent from myself

Re:Big Deal (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598242)

Bah! I programmed my phones to post pointless messages to slashdot in the event of a 16000 foot drop!

Re:Big Deal (5, Funny)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598492)

Well my pocketknife survived an orbital re-entry, so fuck all of you.

Terminal Velocity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35597678)

Anyone know the tumbling terminal velocity of an iPhone? After a certain height it's all the same (until you start getting high enough that the iPhone will burn up in the atmosphere).

Re:Terminal Velocity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35598024)

being higher doesn't make it burn up - the burning only comes from *speed* i.e. if the phone was in orbit.

Re:Terminal Velocity? (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598286)

until you start getting high enough that the iPhone will burn up in the atmosphere

That takes 'will it blend [youtube.com] ' to a new level. Someone make a website, quick!

Re:Terminal Velocity? (1)

atrain728 (1835698) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598330)

No, but it's density is about 2.18 g/cm3 - more than twice that of a human body. A flailing human hits Vt around 125 mph, so I think it's safe to assume somewhere upwards of that.

Nintendium (2)

Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) | more than 2 years ago | (#35597680)

But can your iPhone survive the building it's in being blown up by an RPG? The original Gameboy has. It still plays Tetris to this day.

Re:Nintendium (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35598206)

Yeah... but the gameboy doesn't have thousands of Apple superfans working themselves into a religious frenzy over every coincidence/luck break.

Re:Nintendium (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598288)

But can your iPhone survive the building it's in being blown up by an RPG? The original Gameboy has. It still plays Tetris to this day.

But does it play RPGs too? Or was Tetris melted into the cart slot?

Really? (1)

redemtionboy (890616) | more than 2 years ago | (#35597692)

Because mine didn't survive the 4 ft fall from my hand to the kitchen floor.

Re:Really? (1)

atrain728 (1835698) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598350)

Kitchen floor, hard. Bushes and dirt, soft.

Terminal Velocity & Name Drop (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35597712)

Once the phone falls far enough to reach terminal velocity (not more than a few feet) It doesn't actually matter if its 1000 ft or 5 beyond that point, the Phone is falling as fast as it's ever going to. Headline should read "iPhone can survive fall if broken by vegetation" But that won't sell as many "Griffin Motif TPU iPhone cases" will it ) Nice name drop though!

Re:Terminal Velocity & Name Drop (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 2 years ago | (#35597978)

Terminal velocity should be much further than a few feet. Humans, which are not particularly aerodynamic, take a couple thousand feet to hit terminal velocity. A more compact object, like an iPhone, should have a higher terminal velocity. Since this one fell 1,000 feet, it's unlikely it hit terminal velocity at all.

Re:Terminal Velocity & Name Drop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35598360)

BZZT, try again. Humans reach terminal velocity after falling a distance equal to approximately three stories of a building.

The guy it landed on is in pretty bad shape though (3, Funny)

Liambp (1565081) | more than 2 years ago | (#35597718)

I'll probably get modded down for this but I can't help it. I am in a giddy mood today.

Device with no moving parts survives 1000ft fall (2)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 2 years ago | (#35597722)

INTO brush. Isn't this going to be true of most gadgets with no moving parts?

Re:Device with no moving parts survives 1000ft fal (0)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598064)

I know what you mean. Whilst following the news following the death of Princess Diana. There were reports of a white Fiat Uno which exited the tunnel just after the crash. But isn't it true that a car of any colour or make might have come out of that tunnel instead?

A similar thought occurred to me whilst watching a review of "127 Hours", the film about the American man who got trapped by a boulder, and ended up having to cut his arm off. Isn't it true that a man from any country, being trapped in a remote place by a boulder, might have to cut his own arm off?

Murphy's law (3, Interesting)

Windwraith (932426) | more than 2 years ago | (#35597724)

An old laptop of mine resisted a car collision, but the screen cracked one time it fell ONE FOOT HIGH from the ground (and flat).
There is some sort of law in electronics that makes a gentle caress the most common cause of electronics death. You can shot devices with a shotgun and not do as much damage as treating it with care.

I'd heard that the iPhone 4 was prone to ... (5, Funny)

Dusty101 (765661) | more than 2 years ago | (#35597748)

.. dropped calls.

(Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week. If you're unlucky).

Terminal velocity? (4, Informative)

redelm (54142) | more than 2 years ago | (#35597756)

Small objects have proportionately more drag for their weight so their terminal velocity may not be that fast, reached earlier (so overheight doesn't matter) and damage less.

Another case of why there are no flying pigs -- weight increases as the cube of length, while drag increases as the square. So lots of flying bugs.

Says nothing about the iPhone (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35597762)

Only means that he got lucky that his phone survived the fall. Could had been any phone. Just like any phone that is dropped 4-5ft has a chance of surviving or not. This is just irrelevant news.
 

TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35597788)

Terminal velocity of a cellphone must be pretty low, + it landing in vegetation / soft ground...

Pity about the rest of their stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35597806)

A cold morning causes my MacBook Pro not to start up due to logic board problems.

Re:Pity about the rest of their stuff (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598222)

After learning that they are made in the same factory and with the same parts as Toshibas, this does not surprise me.

meanwhile, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35597816)

my iPhone scratches if I even think about putting it in the same pocket as my car keys.

wow (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#35597818)

WOW , now it's got super-powers! Is there anything it can't do?!!!

Apple! IPhone! Apple! IPhone! Apple! Apple! Apple! IPhone! IPhone! IPhone! Apple IPhone!

Re:wow (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | more than 2 years ago | (#35597990)

Apple Apple Apple Apple Apple Apple JoooOoobs JoooOoobs Apple Apple Apple Apple Apple Apple JoooOoobs JoooOoobs OoOooo Android! Android!

[John]

Re:wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35598084)

FFS wipe the cum off your chin.

FOD... (2)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#35597820)

I'd be more interested if Flight Safety contacted him about improperly securing dangerous FOD.

Re:FOD... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35598056)

Well, FOD is more in relation to damage to the A/C which obviously didn't occur. And please don't tell me it might have gone through props or turbines, because I might ask why people are to be dropped there :-) (time to meet gravity, anyone?)

I'd say it was more of an unauthorized bombing using badly designed wannabe radio active devices.

Keeps a lickin' . . . (1)

sfarber53 (239131) | more than 2 years ago | (#35597896)

all of which belies the fact that the phone is made by Foxconn, one of China's better known purveyors of junk.

Would that it weren't so.

If he was over a Ft. Bragg Dropp Zone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35597912)

Most of the drop zones there have the consistency of beach sand, or they did "back in my days" as they say

I once watch a Jump Master open the door of a C130, grasp the side rails, pull himself forward to get a visual on the drop zone, then fall out, the stick I was in was laughing and stomping their feet so hard it drowned out the engine noise, he was ok, Jump Masters have Parachutes.

With any luck (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#35597934)

The phone was protected by a Griffin Motif TPU iPhone case but it isn’t clear whether the case protected the phone from the fall or the fact that it was cushioned by the brush that it hit.'"

With any luck the brush it hit was a Taliban guy's pubic hair.

only logic can tell... (2)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 2 years ago | (#35597958)

I guess these guys are not CSI, or even scientist for that matter....
>or the fact that it was cushioned by the brush that it hit
Of course if you found it in the bush, then it was cushioned, as anyone knows that some material to cushion the fall takes some of the impact away from the object, and that means as well that it landed on grass or dirt underneath, and not pure cement (i never seen a brush grow in the middle of a street)....so again another reason why it was ok, I am glad that his iphone is ok, as I have one, and could not live without it, but get a clue, it was not apple or the cell phone, it was the environment it landed in, ....

If you really want a test.., try letting it fall from the plane into water, then go find it, then tell me that it is not wet, and its a miracle, then i will praise apple for creating the perfect phone, until then....

Re:only logic can tell... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35598196)

I've never seen a brush grow at all, do they have farms for them?

iPhone is great... (1)

0m3gaMan (745008) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598090)

...but AT&T still sucks moose cock.

iphone falls (1)

derspankster (1081309) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598094)

How exciting!

koolaid (2, Funny)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598108)

I believe it was saved by the rush of apple users that threw themselves on the ground to cushion its fall.

It has a first name. (1)

patch5 (1990504) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598118)

Do combat fighter pilots often perform maneuvers with the canopy open? Was it really exceptionally warm, on that particular day, and he was just out for a spin, chatting with his girlfriend on his iPhone, with his helmet and mask pulled off and the wind rushing through his hair?

I'm sorry, I guess I'm just having a difficult time reconciling any part of this story with my "Top Gun"-perspective of fighter aircraft.

Re:It has a first name. (1)

robow (1609129) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598448)

Did you even read the article?

Re:It has a first name. (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598486)

He's a jump master. That means he was probably in something like a C-130 [wikipedia.org] . A jump master is typically the last guy you see before you jump out of an aircraft.

Viral Ad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35598224)

Seriously /. ?

A big viral ad for the Griffin Motif TPU iPhone case ?

Come on...

wow zero comments about phone-on-plane (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35598252)

So active phones are safe on military planes, that explains the higher price tag of that equipment.

Lucky... (1)

ewrong (1053160) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598254)

it wasn't raining at the time though.

Re:Lucky... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35598376)

Skydiving in the rain == bad idea.

Parachute? (1)

mfnickster (182520) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598264)

There's an app for that!

*sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35598298)

This is why I visit Slashdot. Where else could I get such precise and important information about IT events that change the world.

PoC (1)

EonsWrath (1888134) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598318)

Just goes to show you, you cannot break a piece of crap.

Still a bad phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35598366)

Any word on if the sound quality improved?

Handy tip (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598390)

If you're going to drop an iPhone 1000 feet, aim for a bush.

Re:Handy tip (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35598508)

If you're going to drop an iPhone 1000 feet, aim for a bush.

handy life tip:
just aim for the bush

Griffin case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35598404)

I had a look at this case, it's not really a "case" more like a cover. At best it protects against scratches, a few drops of water, that's it. It would have no effect in ameliorating an impact. None.

Wasn't the phone off? (1)

mfraz74 (1151215) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598416)

I thought it was still law that all mobile phones had to be turned off whilst on board an aircraft, in which case how could he have found his phone by tracking it?

not impressed (1)

zill (1690130) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598474)

There [wikipedia.org] are [wikipedia.org] plenty [wikipedia.org] of cases where people survived falls of 20,000 feet or more so I really don't see this as impressive.

I'm sure Terrorists love Find My iPhone app (1)

ahbond (768662) | more than 2 years ago | (#35598510)

It makes it very easy to find American Soldiers, so they can blow them up, etc.. -Andrew
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