Being an anxious flyer, I will absolutely admit to having wild thoughts around the emergency exit. From time to time I may or may not have even wondered what would happen if I freaked during the flight and tried to escape during the flight. Clearly I would never act on such a silly short-lived thought, but what about all those action movies I’ve seen over the years where characters have ripped airplane doors mid-flight?
It turns out explosive decompression would probably happen if someone did open the emergency exit mid flight, and just like in the movies people would get sucked out of the plane. There is one small important detail you would need to consider in order for this wild scene to actually take place. Only the Hulk would have enough strength to be able pry open the pressurized door.
“Cabin pressure won’t allow it,” explains Patrick Smith, an airline pilot and author of Cockpit Confidential, a book about air travel… 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 door.”
Additionally, since the late 1970’s commercial planes now have Cooper Vanes built into their door systems, a mechanical device that serves to disable aircraft doors while the landing gear is up. I don’t know about you guys, but the next time I fly I will now have one less irrational fear to quiet before getting on the plane. Thank you Jesus!