What happens if the plane door opens during the flight

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If you have a fear of flying or not, the last thing you want to happen during a flight is for the door of your perfectly safe aircraft to burst open, exposing you to the elements.

The chances of this happening a pretty slim, but if you've watched Final Destination or the first episode of Lost that thought will always be in the back of your mind.

However, should you be in the unfortunate situation where this occurs to you AsapSCIENCEhas detailed exactly what would happen.

As they explain, the pressure exerted on a plane door is that of 8000 to 10,000 ft above sea level, despite the plane flying at 30,000 to 45,0000 ft.

The higher the altitude the less air pressure, but the pressure on the door remains at that constant level throughout the flight.

If the door were to be opened in mid-air the cabin would depressurise in 0.5 seconds and anything that isn't fastened down would immediately be dragged out the door due to the difference in pressure.

This would spell certain death for anyone in that ordeal as for starters the plane would possibly begin to break apart. Then there is also the chance of hypoxia which kicks in due to the lack of oxygen in the air.

If you don't manage to get your oxygen mask on in time hypoxia will cause nausea, dizziness, unconsciousness and maybe even death.

Oxygen is only likely to last for 10 minutes as the pilot will try to take the aircraft down to around 8000 to 10,000 ft to even out the pressure both inside and outside the plane.

As we said the chances of this happening are so small that you needn't worry at all. If you are still concerned we recommend that you watch the full AsapSCIENCE video below.

If you need further reassurance then read the words of the pilot and author Patrick Smith.

In 2017 he told The Telegraph:

Think of an aircraft door as a drain plug, fixed in place by the interior pressure.

Almost all aircraft exits open inward. Some retract upward into the ceiling; others swing outward, but they open inward first.

At a typical cruising altitude, up to eight pounds of pressure are pushing against every square inch of interior fuselage.

That’s over 1,100 pounds against each square foot of the door.

A meager two pounds per square inch is still more than anyone can displace — even after six cups of coffee and the aggravation that comes with sitting behind a shrieking baby.

The doors are further secured by a series of electrical and/or mechanical latches.

You would need a hydraulic jack, and airport security doesn’t allow those.


More: The secrets flight attendants will never tell you

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