WICHITA FALLS — After falling 9,300 feet from a Beechcraft Bonanza airplane, a lost iPhone not only reported its location but laid out a map where owner Ben Wilson could find it.

WICHITA FALLS — After falling 9,300 feet from a Beechcraft Bonanza airplane, a lost iPhone not only reported its location but laid out a map where owner Ben Wilson could find it.


Even better, it could still make and receive calls.


"It was by the side of the road south of Jacksboro, under a mesquite tree," said Wilson, chuckling. "The donkey pointed out where it was."


It is a real Texas story. Monday afternoon Wilson, owner of Gas Corp. of America and pilot Will Warnock were on their way back from Houston to Kickapoo Airport in Wichita Falls when pressure change caused a door latch on the passenger side to give way by 3 inches.


"The pressure popped and a newspaper flew out, but I didn’t see the phone go. After we got back I looked for it on the floor (of the plane) and in my briefcase but couldn’t find it," Wilson said.


"I met Ben at the airport and we checked for the phone, even wondered if it might have been left in a rental car. We used his Find My iPhone app and learned it was still alive," said John Kidwell, Gas Corp.’s vice president of sales. "Later I checked the iCloud and could see it was outside of Joplin (Texas)." Joplin is a wide spot in the road in rural Jack County.


With a satellite image and good map in hand, the two set out early Tuesday to find the missing cell. Guided down a ranch road, Bill soon was going over a fence to find it.


That’s when Wilson met a friendly donkey who followed as he searched the pasture. Soon they found the phone.


The donkey earned gingersnaps.


"It was in one piece, scratched a bit on the corners but it still worked," said Wilson.


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