Published in Midwest Flyer – April/May 2017
As Brian Petersburg of Decorah, Iowa, was flying his Flight Design CTLS from Iowa to Wisconsin last fall to pick up a friend, he decided to take a video of the Upper Iowa River with his iPhone as he transitioned over the Mississippi River. To get the clearest video, he opened a small window on his airplane. When he turned the iPhone to get a better angle, the wind caught it, pulled it out of the aircraft, and it fell 2,000 feet to the wooded terrain below.
The following week, Petersburg used his iPhone locator application and the phone showed up, so he organized a search crew and drove approximately two hours into Wisconsin. After only about 45 minutes of searching, they located the phone in very steep terrain in perfect condition.
From an altitude of 2,000 feet, it took 60 seconds for the iPhone to reach the ground, and the entire descent was caught on video, as the iPhone fluttered back and forth. Once it landed, Petersburg could hear birds chirping in the background.