Sean Bates found an iPhone that had fallen from an Alaskan Airlines flight, which lost part of its fuselage mid-air (Pictures: Sean Bates/TikTok/NTSB/SWNS)
It would have fallen 16,000 feet, after a cabin panel was ripped off the aircraft over Portland in Oregon in the US, leaving a gaping hole.
Incredibly none of the 177 people on the flight were hurt in Friday’s incident, and the plane, which had just left Portland bound for Ontario in California, made an emergency landing.
But passengers reported scenes of chaos onboard the flight, with objects such as phones being sucked out of the plane.
Sean said he was initially unsure if the iPhone was from the aircraft, but soon noticed the device, still in flight mode and with the remains of a charging cable plugged in, had a baggage receipt for that particular flight.
The game designer posted a picture of the mobile on X (formerly Twitter) and wrote: ‘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 ASA1282.
‘Survived a 16,000 foot drop perfectly intact!’
Sean had decided to go for a walk in the area, after the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) asked people to keep an eye out for anything that might have fallen out of the plane, including a missing plane plug.
Sean, who also put a video about his find on TikTok, added: ‘When I called it in, Zoe at @NTSB said it was the SECOND phone to be found. No door yet,’ he added.
The door plug, which measures 26 by 48 inches and weighs 63 pounds, was later found by a school teacher called Bob in his garden in Portland.
Sean posted on X and shared a video on TikTok to let people know about the discovery(Picture: Sean Bates/TikTok)
Investigators will examine the plug for signs of how it broke free.
Sean’s X post has had 9.3 million views, with several people commenting below.
Many asked about the phone’s seemingly super durable case. On poster, @TheXpOG, wrote: ‘All I want to know is: What brand the case and screen protector was on that thing?!’
The iPhone had a baggage receipt for the Alaskan Airlines flight involved in the frightening incident (Picture: TikTok/Sean Bates)
The US ordered the grounding of 171 Boeing 737 Max 9 jets after the incident, while the probe is carried out.
Jennifer Homendy from the NTSB said pilots had reported pressurisation warning lights on three earlier flights in the days before the panel blew out – but it’s not clear if these warnings are linked.
The plane involved was not being used for journeys to Hawaii after Alaska Airlines restricted the aircraft from long flights over water so that the plane ‘could return very quickly to an airport’ if the warning light reappeared.
The gaping hole from inside the plane (Picture: NTSB/SWNS)
The hole viewed from the outside of the aircraft (Picture: NTSB/SWNS)
Ms Homendy described the event as ‘very chaotic’, adding that no information was available to read from the cockpit voice recorder because it was not retrieved before the two-hour mark and it was recorded over.
Describing the incident, she said the explosive rush of air damaged several rows of seats and pulled insulation from the walls, while the cockpit door flew open and banged into a lavatory door.
The force ripped the headset off the co-pilot and the captain lost part of her headset.
A quick reference checklist that was kept within reach of the pilots also flew out of the open cockpit.
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The phone was in flight mode still and showed an Alaska Airlines baggage receipt.