When an iPhone free falls 9,300 feet, you’d expect it to be demolished if and when you found it. However, pilot Ben Wilson was able to track his iPhone – which fell out of his Beechcraft Bonanza plane somewhere over Texas – with the help of Find My iPhone and a friendly donkey. Here’s the kicker: It still worked!
Wilson, the owner of natural-gas equipment company Gas Corporation of America, didn’t intend to test the durability of his iPhone or protective case. He was flying his Beechcraft Bonanza single-engine plane from Houston to his home in Wichita Falls, Texas, this week when his door suddenly opened about three inches mid-flight.
“That’ll wake you up,” said Wilson, 74. “My Wall Street Journal got sucked out of the plane, and I just kept flying because we were close to home.”
Once he was safely on the ground in Wichita Falls, Wilson also discovered that his iPhone was gone too. He decided the device flew out the door with the Journal, and he assumed he’d be buying another iPhone.
But then, Wilson’s stepson – John Kidwell – pulled up the “Find My iPhone” app on his own iPhone, and the duo was surprised to see Wilson’s handset appear on the map. The device was somewhere in the hamlet of Joplin. Texas.
Considering Wilson had 250 contact numbers and over 1,000 photos on the device that he didn’t want to see lost, the pair hopped in a car the next morning and made the 90 mile drive to Joplin. They traced the iPhone’s signal to a fenced-in pasture.
“I climbed the fence and this donkey trotted up to me and looked me right in the eyes,” Wilson said. “He would not leave our sides. I think he was trying to help us find the phone.”
Wilson, and the donkey, found the iPhone in plain sight in the pasture, sitting comfortably in thick grass directly below a mesquite tree. Wilson made a grab for the phone before the donkey could step on it.
The iPhone was still in working order, with just a few scratches form its ordeal. The screen wasn’t cracked, and all of the device’s features worked perfectly. The only piece that snapped off in the fall and couldn’t be found was the protective battery case the device had been encased in. It had snapped off, and was nowhere to be seen.
Wilson found his iPhone, and made a new friend in the process. “I didn’t get to talk to the ranch owner, but I want to send him a newspaper clip and tell him I’d want to adopt the donkey. He was a hoot,” Wilson said. “We made a new friend and I got my phone back. Everything turned out real well.”
(Via Cult of Mac)