Apple’s iPhone 6 reportedly caused quite a stir when it burst into flames during a flight from Washington to Hawaii with 163 passengers onboard. But thanks to the flight crew, the fire was put out and the plane landed at its destination safely.
According to KOMO News, sometime last week, a passenger named Anna Crail boarded an Alaska Air flight from Bellingham, Washington, to Hawaii. She was reportedly watching an in-flight movie when she saw her iPhone 6 engulfed in flames. She panicked and thought the flight was going to plunge into the Pacific Ocean.
However, she realized that the 8-inch flame was not covering the entire flight cabin but only her phone. She immediately pushed the burning device to the ground but it slid under another passenger's seat.
As the flames grew, passengers nearby started getting out of their seats, which caused commotion. The flight crew was immediately alerted and they promptly put out the flames.
Following the incident, KOMO News asked a former pilot and aviation expert John Nance whether iPhones should be banned in flights to avoid such incidents in the future.
Nance reportedly said incidents like these were exceptions. However, the incident showed the importance of passengers either switching off handsets or setting them to airplane mode. By putting the device in airplane mode, the handset would not search for network signals at every given opportunity — something that can heat up the battery and cause a fire.
In Nance’s own words: "This is not the sort of situation where you have a hover board in the overhead, or stuffed in baggage, which is a big concern... The iPhones are almost universal on your person or right by you, so this is not something that's not going to be discovered until it's a problem," he added further.
It is worth noting that similar incidents have happened in the past, caused by Apple iPhones as well as other devices, Phone Arena noted. For instance, in 2014, Yardin Levi boarded a flight from Tel-Aviv, Israel to Prague, Czech Republic, only to find her Apple iPhone 5 emitting thick fumes, forcing an evacuation of the aircraft. After thorough scrutiny, passengers were allowed to fly to their scheduled destination.