iPhone 4 still makes calls after fall from over 13,000 feet

Some people just can't live without their iPhone 4. That apparently includes a skydiver who decided to keep his Apple smartphone with him when he took a recent plunge from a perfectly good airplane. However, his iPhone 4 dropped out of his pocket while he was dropping down from over 13,000 feet. Surprisingly, as CNN reports, the battered and beaten phone emerged from the huge fall with the ability to still make phone calls.

37 year old Jarrod McKinney of Minnesota said that he's not sure exactly when his iPhone 4 got out of his pockets during his skydive, saying that in the rush to get out of the airplane he forgot to zip up the pockets on his skydiving pants. If you are wondering why he decided to skydive with his iPhone in the first place, he stated that he liked to have the phone around if his jump destination doesn't go as planned and he has to phone someone to find him and pick him up.

Luckily, McKinney managed to locate his iPhone 4 via a GPS tracking app after he safely landed himself to the ground via parachute. The iPhone had made its impact about a half mile away from where McKinney landed on top of a building. As you can see from the above picture, the phone won't be able to play Angry Birds or use any other apps. The report states that when McKinney's skydiving instructor Joe Johnson decided to call the phone on a whim, the call went through and McKinney answered.

Image via CNN

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Maybe I´m too lucky or something. But iPhone4 is the sturdiest phone i ever had. It had it for about 10months, and it is always falling, flying, soaking or things that happens to my phones,(still i never had a phone dying on me) it is only slightly scratched on the back and still works like the first day.
That alone makes my next purchase an apple again. But I'm also evaluating to move to a 100% windows ecosystem.

My question is, what were they doing letting him carry a device such as that skydiving. That can be very dangerous if it had struck someone below, or anywhere else. And if they are going to let him, shouldn't they double check before they jump that everything is secure, including their pockets. If he is that careless, then why in the world would they let him jump, or would he want to. I could careless about the device, only thing this shows is that he is a pretty careless person, and a douche. Yeah, go iPhone owners.... /s

Then perhaps Apple ('s competitors) should let everyone know that they probably don't need to um... get a new iPod for a long, long while...

Enron said,
The phone didn't fall 13000 feet. It fell out of his pocket at some point during his 13000 foot drop.

Plus 13,000 or 500 feet doesn't matter because terminal velocity.

Enron said,
The phone didn't fall 13000 feet. It fell out of his pocket at some point during his 13000 foot drop.
If it was in his pocket while skydiving, it was in freefall already - since it fell out of his pocket, the parachute wouldn't have slowed it down. So, basically... it did drop 13,000 feet, essentially in freefall.

It would reach its terminal velocity much sooner anyway, though - so the height simply doesn't matter.

Simon said,
If it was in his pocket while skydiving, it was in freefall already - since it fell out of his pocket, the parachute wouldn't have slowed it down. So, basically... it did drop 13,000 feet, essentially in freefall.

It would reach its terminal velocity much sooner anyway, though - so the height simply doesn't matter.

They didn't jump in a vacuum, the phone would be acted on much more easily than his body would have. The phone would not have reached any given speed at a much higher or lower speed than he would have because of external forces.

Also there is no information on what type of surface it landed on...reedy grasslands and marsh are much more forgiving to a lightweight device than clay or a hard pack dirt.

schubb2003 said,

They didn't jump in a vacuum, the phone would be acted on much more easily than his body would have. The phone would not have reached any given speed at a much higher or lower speed than he would have because of external forces.

Also there is no information on what type of surface it landed on...reedy grasslands and marsh are much more forgiving to a lightweight device than clay or a hard pack dirt.

Says it landed on a roof. Not too sure where you live but round here roofs are made from 3 things, Clay Tile, Hardwood Shingles, And straight cement. Most Skydiving areas out here are also located near industrial parks. Not sure how many of those have a marsh or grassland on top.

Even if it fell out of his pocket at 500 feet, still high enough for it to reach terminal velocity. Also given the phone landed 1/2 mile away it must have fell out at a rather high altitude.

Enron said,
The phone didn't fall 13000 feet. It fell out of his pocket at some point during his 13000 foot drop.

LOL.. He jumped WITH the phone from 13,000 feet!! It doesn't matter at what point the phone came out of his pocket, it would be the same as if it was just tossed out at 13,000 feet. Still, terminal velocity and all that negates the actual distance... I'm just sayin the old rule "an object that is in motion stays in motion" applies.

devn00b said,

Says it landed on a roof. Not too sure where you live but round here roofs are made from 3 things, Clay Tile, Hardwood Shingles, And straight cement. Most Skydiving areas out here are also located near industrial parks. Not sure how many of those have a marsh or grassland on top.

Even if it fell out of his pocket at 500 feet, still high enough for it to reach terminal velocity. Also given the phone landed 1/2 mile away it must have fell out at a rather high altitude.

Ok, I misread that he landed on top of the building. However you cannot guarantee the phone EVER hit terminal velocity, this is not in a vacuum or a weight of significant value that is not acted upon by outside forces. At half a mile away that phone could have fallen from his pocket at less than 1000 feet, now let's say it was a five story building it was on top of...high end drop was 500 feet, and starting from a velocity of zero. And it starts at a velocity of zero because it was stationary against his pocket, you don't get to add his velocity, because the minute it left his pocket, the actual movement of the phone began.

Just like driving a car onto a moving truck, you don't suddenly shoot to the front of the truck.

schubb2003 said,
Just like driving a car onto a moving truck, you don't suddenly shoot to the front of the truck.
The phone was moving toward the ground at the same speed as the person with the phone in his pocket. If the phone were in a case, and the case came off mid air, the speed of the phone wouldn't suddenly become 0 once that case comes off. In this instance, the person essentially acts as a case - once the phone is out of his pocket, it has an initial velocity toward the ground. Yes, it is slightly different from the velocity it would have without the person surrounding it, but it definitely has an initial velocity.

I don't know why this is such a heated debate - it was a freak accident anyway lol.

If this were an Android phone it would have deployed its own parachute and made it to the ground safely [/s]

I'm impressed that anything electronic fell that distance and needs what I would consider simple repairs. If the GPS and calls work its really only cosmetic damage and a new screen until someone discovers something else broken, but it sounds fairly functional

Once it reaches terminal velocity it doesn't really matter what height it is coming from, would have done the same damage. I want to see the front of the phone!

I love this quote from the article above


when he took a recent plunge from a perfectly good airplane

What

wow thats great, I get my ass scared everytime my Samsung Galaxy S is dropped which the height is 0.5 feet and it has already some scratches, even though an iphone 4 survived 13k feet.
thats truly remarkable.
In my opinion: Android/Windows users are iPhone/Mac OS Haters and iPhone/Mac OS users are Android/Windows haters.
Myself I'm an Android/Windows user but I don't give a damn about this hated war. each has its flaws

MariosX said,
wow thats great, I get my ass scared everytime my Samsung Galaxy S is dropped which the height is 0.5 feet and it has already some scratches, even though an iphone 4 survived 13k feet.
thats truly remarkable.
In my opinion: Android/Windows users are iPhone/Mac OS Haters and iPhone/Mac OS users are Android/Windows haters.
Myself I'm an Android/Windows user but I don't give a damn about this hated war. each has its flaws

Just a heads up, if you've got the i9000 galaxy S, it's not going anywhere, the phone's damn invincible. Mine took a trip of a 2nd floor balcony and survived with only a couple of scratches

Well, he was obviously holding it right if he could make a phone call after that fall.
(just to crack the "holding it wrong" joke in some way)

Thrasko said,
Well, he was obviously holding it right if he could make a phone call after that fall.
(just to crack the "holding it wrong" joke in some way)

"The report states that when McKinney's skydiving instructor Joe Johnson decided to call the phone on a whim, the call went through and McKinney answered."

Taking a call != Making a call

"As you can see from the above picture, the phone won't be able to play Angry Birds or use any other apps."
This implies the screen isnt working, I'm guessing that means touch is gone as well?

dr spock said,

Taking a call != Making a call

You need to use the touchscreen and gsm/cdma chip either way so it doesn't really matter, but you're right of course.
By the way Angry Birds is certainly possible to play after successfully answering a call with the broken screen which means the touch is indeed working. I suggest playing near a hospital though.