iPhone 4 Experiences 'Self Combustion' Aboard Just-Landed Aircraft

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The Register points to a press release (PDF) from Australian airline Regional Express describing an incident last Friday in which an iPhone experienced "self combustion" onboard an aircraft just after the flight landed in Sydney. Based on an accompanying photo of the damaged iPhone, the device appears to be an iPhone 4.
Regional Express (Rex) flight ZL319 operating from Lismore to Sydney today had an occurrence after landing, when a passenger's mobile phone started emitting a significant amount of dense smoke, accompanied by a red glow.

In accordance with company standard safety procedures, the Flight Attendant carried out recovery actions immediately and the red glow was extinguished successfully.
A photo of the device shows a shattered rear glass panel and an apparent burn or scorch mark in the area corresponding to the lower half of the device's battery.




The press release offers no additional information on the circumstances surrounding the incident, such as whether the passenger was attempting to use the device at the time, but the iPhone has been turned over to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau for investigation.

iPhone-related combustion is not an unheard-of phenomenon, although most reported incidents appear to have involved charging issues. This incident's occurrence on an airplane does, however, obviously draw some attention to the dangers of any potential combustion sources in such settings and will no doubt be thoroughly investigated in an attempt to determine its root cause.

Article Link: iPhone 4 Experiences 'Self Combustion' Aboard Just-Landed Aircraft
 

kylebshr

macrumors regular
Aug 19, 2011
103
10
Tennessee
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

Yikes!
 

jamesryanbell

macrumors 68020
Mar 17, 2009
2,171
93
Probably a defective phone. It's never happened BEFORE this that we know of, and I'm sure a ton of people with iPhones travel.
 

Popeye206

macrumors 68040
Sep 6, 2007
3,148
836
NE PA USA
Obviously, anything can happen... I just hope this doesn't cause some silly over the top reaction that bans electronic devices from planes! That would stink!

I can't even imagine my iPhone4 getting that hot to burst and melt. I've never even noticed mine getting warm really and I use it all the time. Weird.
 

trip1ex

macrumors 68000
Jan 10, 2008
1,999
363
Battery ruptured/something shorted. Maybe due to changes in pressure during the flight. That's my bet. BAd part.
 

DESNOS

macrumors 6502
Aug 24, 2011
374
1
Looks like the battery. These things happen. Batteries are known to combust on rare occasions.
 
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