While aboard an Australian flight Regional Express ZL319 flight on Friday (November 25), a passenger’s iPhone4 (not to be confused with the new iPhone4S) began to emit smoke while the aircraft was still airborne. The airliner, which was flying from Lismore to Sydney, was in the midst of landing when the incident occured.
COMMENT: After landing, the iPhone4 was confiscated by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau for analysis. Although it is rare for iPhone4s to emit smoke, it is possible that the phone's lithium ion batteries overheated, causing the phone to emit smoke. The EU launched an investigation in 2009 after multiple instances of iPhones and iPod Touches exploded or caught fire while in flight in the UK, the Netherlands, France and Sweden.
Needless to say, air passengers are reminded to not just put their smart-phones on "airplane mode," but to definitely turn them off once the boarding hatch is closed. Conceivably, if such incidents continue to occur, infrequent as they are, passengers may well be instructed to remove phone batteries after the hatch door is secured, which will only further complicate peoples' lives.