A recent CNN iReport reported that a man named Jarrod McKinney dropped his iPhone from 13,500 feet and found it smashed using his iPad. McKinney and his wife were skydiving. Prior to taking off, he put his iPhone in what he thought was a safe velcro shut pocket but upon landing, couldn't find his iPhone anymore. He didn't know where along the way he had dropped his iPhone. He had the “Where's My iPhone” app installed on his iPad and using that, he was able to get an idea of where his iPhone was. This also means that while the iPhone may have shattered, it was still intact enough to send out a location signal that was collected by the iPad.
Shattered iPhone (image courtesy: CNN iReport)
Turns out, his phone had fallen 13,500 feet onto a roof of a factory. When he got to the factory, they helped him up to the roof where he found his phone superficially shattered and was still able to make a phone call from it. Clearly there are two helping factors in his retrieval. One, that his iPhone survived a 13,500 feet drop and two that the Find My iPhone app was able to work despite the countryside environment that he was in, in Winstead, Minnesota (the factory was situated at a quarter of a mile away). This perhaps gives hope to extreme sport enthusiasts who would like to 'jump' with their iPhones.