When Alaska Air flight 1128 suddenly lost pressure as a window plug was ripped out at 16,000 feet, things were quickly tossed around the cabin, with many flying out. For the Oregon residents under the short flight path, this meant they needed to be on the lookout for lost pieces.
Sean Bates stumbled upon some of this debris – specifically an iPhone. Writing on X, he tweeted, “Found an iPhone on the side of the road… Still in airplane mode with half a battery and open to a baggage claim for #AlaskaAirlines ASA128…Survived a 16,000 foot drop perfectly in tact!”
Following his find on Barnes Road, he notified the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) of his discovery. He also updated X on the story. “In case you didn’t see it, there was a broken-off charger plug still inside it! Thing got *yanked* out the door (Sorry I didn’t get a better pic before handing it over haha I naturally have to assume that Airplane mode helped it survive the fall.”
With the NTSB asking people to be on the lookout, Bates and others had been looking for any signs of the items. When he found the item on the side of the road, he thought it could have simply fallen from a car. Then he saw that the phone was not locked and that it was open to a bag confirmation from flight 1128.
As many users replied, cell phones often break when simply dropped from a kitchen table or disappear forever when dropped during a sporting game at an arena. With a second phone falling and being found in a neighboring backyard, it shocked many people to learn that both were found before the door, and the iPhone at least confirmed to be in perfect working order despite the broken connection.