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Paraglider's iPhone survives 2,000-foot drop unscathed

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 1 2015 8:22 a.m. MDT

Chris Santacroce enjoys paragliding. On Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, he lost his iPhone at 2,000 feet. He found it and it still works. (Chris Santacroce,) Chris Santacroce enjoys paragliding. On Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, he lost his iPhone at 2,000 feet. He found it and it still works. (Chris Santacroce,)

DRAPER — Chris Santacroce was paragliding near Lone Peak in Draper Thursday night when his iPhone slipped out of his pocket and fell some 2,000 feet to the ground.

He had no idea it had fallen out of his pocket. "I land and I’m checking my pockets. It's not there," he said.

He knew iPhones have a tracking feature, so he drove home to get on a computer. The “Find My iPhone” tracking software brought up a map with a dot pinpointing where his iPhone landed on the mountain.

"It's got great detail. It shows the canyon, it shows the rock, and it shows the bush that it's next to," he said. “But there was a fire on the mountain this past summer, so not all those features are the same as what the map was showing.”

Santacroce drove back to the general area and started hiking in thigh-deep snow. When the sun set, he called his wife to borrow her iPhone so he could make his lost iPhone beep. The tracking software he used to pinpoint his phone also has a feature that will make it beep like a sonar. As soon as he made the phone beep, he heard it.

Chris Santacroce looked for his iPhone that he dropped while paragliding Jan. 31, 2013. He found it after using a function on the phone that made it beep like a sonar. (Chris Santacroce,) Chris Santacroce looked for his iPhone that he dropped while paragliding Jan. 31, 2013. He found it after using a function on the phone that made it beep like a sonar. (Chris Santacroce,)

"Wouldn't you know, about 10 feet away, just a little closer to the gully than I thought, I can see the thing in the snow,” he said. “It's making a little light and I can hear the sonar sound. I couldn't believe it.”

 He also noticed small animal prints around the phone.

"You can tell a little animal must have come up, heard the sound, had a look, turned around and went back,” he said.

He’s just happy he found his phone and it didn’t have a dent, scratch, or broken glass.

"Worked like the day I bought it,” he said with a laugh. 

Other popular smartphones, like Droids and Galaxies, also have tracking software to find the phone if it’s lost, but Santacroce is sticking with his iPhone.

Chris Santacroce lost his phone Jan. 31, 2013, while paragliding near Lone Peak in Draper. He was able to locate it using the Chris Santacroce lost his phone Jan. 31, 2013, while paragliding near Lone Peak in Draper. He was able to locate it using the "Find My Phone" function on his phone. (Chris Santacroce,)

“It saved me $600 to buy another one,” he said.

E-mail: acabrero@ksl.com

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