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iPhone goes up in smoke on plane

An iPhone belonging to a passenger on an Australian flight releases smoke and glows red as the plane is landing.

2 min read

The finest of electronic items do occasionally malfunction.

Sometimes planes unaccountably drop out of the sky. And sometimes, when a plane comes in for a safe landing, an iPhone might just begin to turn a strange hue of red and release dense smoke.

This, according to Australian airline Regional Express, is precisely what happened Friday on a flight between Lismore and Sydney.

The airline said that the plane was coming into land when the iPhone pyrotechnics began.

Regional Express

The flight crew apparently took swift action, bathing the phone in soft hand lotion. No, actually, all the airline said was that the glow was extinguished.

The phone was handed over to the authorities for analysis. But what isn't clear is where it was when it started smoking. One would hate to think that some naughty passenger had pulled it out and switched it on a little too soon, endangering (or perhaps not) the plane's flight.

From the photograph released, it seems that the self-combustion occurred at the right-hand rear of the phone. This, the Next Web suggests, might reasonably point a finger at the battery, which could have been enjoying a little excessive heat.

Where did that excess heat come from? If the plane was coming into land, of course, the iPhone should have been switched off. Perhaps rays of sunshine or excessive bodily pressure had inflamed it.

Smartphones do occasionally just blow up. Last year, we heard the tale of a man who claimed a Motorola Droid 2 had exploded in his ear, causing him actual physical damage.

There is no such thing as eternal cool. Not even with an iPhone.