Have you ever wondered if if you open the door when the plane is in the middle of the sky, what will happen? Do you think you will be sucked out? The answer is completely not what you think!
The plane is a great transport, fast and efficient, but the experience on the plane is not always pleasant. There are many stressors for aircrafts, from delay time to cramped seats, then noise, smell …
But when stressed, people also become curious and easy to have unnecessary machines. So there are some flights that have to be postponed because passengers accidentally opened the exit door before the flight.
A surprising answer!
In some movies where bombs explode on airplanes, you can see that everything that is sucked out goes out due to the pressure difference. There are no bombs in real life, but what if you find a way to open the door?
The answer is … it’s okay! If you try to find a way to open the exit door, you will be controlled by the flight attendants and able to receive a lifetime flight ticket when landing. But the more important thing is that even if they don’t do anything, there’s no way you can open that door while flying. The huge difference in pressure will prevent you from doing that.
When the plane is at a certain height, you will not be able to open the door.
“The plane exit door when it is high is like a water tank stopper, it is fixed by pressure inside,” – said pilot Patrick Smith. “Most aircraft doors are opened inwards. And once it’s high, even the most athletic people can’t open it.”
For a normal commercial flight, the pressure inside the passenger compartment is always larger than the outside, with pressure falling between 0.7 or 0.8atm. This number is equivalent to the need for an excess force of 7 tons / m2 to open the door.
Even at lower altitudes, that door was too hard to open, since only about 15% of the standard pressure was enough to make it impossible for anyone to open it.
Basically, an emergency exit on an airplane is designed so that you can easily open it in an emergency situation, but must be “very close to the ground” like when taking off or landing.
If you are on high, can you still open the door? The situation is more serious than you think.
The case of opening the door when the plane is on high, means the pressure in the cabin is dropping sharply, and it is a deadly situation.
You will not be sucked out like in the movie, but the reduced pressure can cause the engine to explode, breaking the glass door, making the situation become more and more serious.
The air in the cabin will quickly be sucked out due to the pressure difference. The oxygen mask immediately falls, but does not have much effect because at low pressure conditions, the body loses its ability to absorb enough oxygen, leading to a lack of oxygen in the blood. If the pilot cannot handle it well before fainting from lack of oxygen, another catastrophic accident will occur.
But in general, this is just a hypothetical situation. Basically, you or anyone else cannot open the airplane door when you are on high. In addition, the aircraft is still the safest means of transport, with only 10 fatal accidents over a total of 36.8 million flights (2017 data).
Reference: IFL Science