What happens if the plane door opens mid-flight?
How would you open a plane door in an emergency?
These are some of the questions that run through the mind of anyone who has ever been on a plane and sat through the safety demonstration, and especially those of us who sit by the emergency exit.
Maybe it would be something like what happens in an action film. The door is ripped open, and the entire inside of the plane is sucked out, including all the passengers inside.
There have been at least two recent reports of passengers being restrained after trying to open emergency exit door while the aircraft was still in flight, (including one passenger being hit over the head with a wine bottle) and it got us wondering, what would happen if someone managed to yank open one of those heavy doors?
It turns out, nothing because it is physically impossible to open the emergency exit door while the plane is in flight.
Jason Rabinowitz, an aviation blogger, told Travel + Leisure
“It’s physically impossible. When at cruising altitude, the pressure difference between the outside of the plane and the inside of the plane, which is pressurised, creates a situation where the door cannot open.”
We can't decide if this is reassuring information or not.
Travel + Leisure continued by explaining to actually open the door while flying someone would need (at least) a hydraulic jack.
Before you start commenting about skydiving planes and such, we've got an answer for that too: those planes are depressurized to allow them easy exits.
"An open door would create a catastrophic 'explosive decompression,' Rabinowitz said. Explosive decompression, while rare, has occurred. One such instance happened in 1988 when a section of the airplane’s roof burst open. A flight attendant was sucked up through the hole in the plane, but the pilot managed to land within 13 minutes, avoiding additional fatalities," explains Travel + Leisure.
So umm... that's good news?
Sure, let's go with that.