Back to Squawk list
  • 18

Texas businessman recovers cellphone that fell from plane

A North Texas businessman used the "Find My iPhone app" to find his phone in a pasture after it fell about 9,300 feet during a flight from Houston. Ben Wilson says his cellphone still works. Wilson, who owns Gas Corporation of America in Wichita Falls, and a pilot were in a Beechcraft Bonanza returning home Monday. ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

Frank Harvey 3
This was a Bonanza.
Back in the 1970s there used to be a joke... Whats more dangerous than a pilot with a screwdriver ?...A doctor in a Bonanza.
Well, what is the terminal velocity of a iPhone?😀
BaronG58 1
terminal velocity is reached when drag equals weight. Terminal velocity of iphone would depend on the position of iphone as it was falling. If it was falling flat side ie screen side terminal velocity prox 27mph...if it fell thin side prox 95 mph. It's the stopping acceleration that would cause the hitting cement vs grass would produce different out comes.
Tim Lamborn 2
Hmm, drop an iPhone 9300 ft and it still works, drop an iPhone off the nightstand onto a carpeted floor, cracks the screen. Something just doesn't add up.
Any bets this "business man" works for Apple or owns a cell phone store?

James Casey 1
Yeah weird. And what sort of "pressure change" pops open the door on a Bonanza?
Ralph Rios 1
I own a bonanza. There is no such thing as a pressure change that should do this.The door was simply not latched properly prior to takeoff, or there is a problem with the door latching mechanism.
James Casey 3
Or someone manually changed the pressure...on the door release latch.
Those darn "pressure changes" will get you every time! Great photo of the "Bonanza" in the article. Love the new "high wing" design and fixed gear.
Rob Gibbs 2
Maybe.....just maybe it was in an otter box lol
bbabis 1
Not sure that we're getting the full story on how the phone got out of the airplane if indeed it did. As far as the door story, there is definitely a pressure change when the door opens but it is not what causes the door to open. Poor reporting and/or editing by kxan as with most media outlets concerning aviation stories. Small branches, tall grass, and soft pasture all added up to good luck. It was obvious that the phone was working when it showed up on "Find my iPhone." It was then just a matter of going to get it. If you get to it before the battery dies you can have it make a sound to more easily find it.
chalet 1
Fishy to say the least, these guys should come up with a better "story"
James Kelly 1
Sounds like a Timex TV Ad - takes a licking and keeps on ticking?
Frank Harvey 1
Thats an interesting looking piece of kit hanging underneath the fixed gear, high wing, 182 "Bonanza" in the photograph accompanying the article.

Its always a good idea to operate an a/c with a lot of loose gear flopping about in the cabin (as well as an unlatched door). If a cell phone gets wedged under a rudder bar or some other control at a critical stage (or falls out of a door and hits someone on the ground) you have something to blame for the "accident".
sam kuminecz 1
Terminal velocity of any object is 120mph...about 170fps
bbabis 1
Depends on the inherent drag of the object. That's what parachutes are good for.
James Casey 1
Only in a vacuum.
Technically terminal velocity in a vacuum would be ~186,000 miles per second, since terminal velocity is reached either when the drag force equals the weight of the object or when the object reaches the speed of light. A feather that weighs 1/4 oz falls a lot slower than a raindrop which weighs a lot less because of the differences in drag coefficients.


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.