Jarrod McKinney said he was in such a rush to "get out the door" of the plane on a recent skydiving trip that he forgot to secure his iPhone 4, CNN reports. "I just knew it was gone. Falling from that height? (What are) the chances of you finding something like that or even knowing where to look?" he said.
But, after touching down, McKinney used a "GPS tracking app" to locate the device, which had landed on the roof of a building roughly a half-mile away.
Skydiving instructor Joe Johnson called the phone as a joke and was surprised when the call actually went through. The device, which had been cracked once before after a tumble off a bathroom shelf, is still able to make and receive calls, despite the fact that its front and back glass surfaces had shattered. The handset had been protected by a Incipio-branded case that was broken on impact.
McKinney plans to fix the screen, but, for now, uses the BlueTooth connection in his truck to make calls.
Jarrod McKinney's iPhone 4 survived a 13,500-foot fall
Johnson was impressed by the iPhone's durability and said he plans to purchase one for himself. "It goes to show you if I crash land and need an ambulance, they can still track me down with the GPS," he said.
When contacted for the report, Consumer Reports editor Mike Gikas quipped that McKinney had found a way to resolve the phone's reception problems, which caused a firestorm of controversy last year. Dropping the smartphone from a plane is "the proved method for fixing the antenna problem," Gikas joked.
Last year, the consumer-focused publication ranked the iPhone 4 the best smartphone available, but it rescinded its recommendation after in-house testing showed the device was susceptible to signal-loss when gripped a certain way.