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TV Stunt: Open 747 Door In Flight  
User currently offlineYQBexYHZBGM From Canada, joined May 2009, 204 posts, RR: 1
Posted (10 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 5766 times:

I recently saw a TV program in which the door on the right side of a 747 near the front of the F cabin, which I believe is a galley door (?), was opened during flight, and the door itself was blown outside the aircraft.

We all know that TV and movies take all kinds of liberties with what is actually possible regarding aviation, but is it actually possible to open a door on a 747 in flight? My understanding was that the cabin pressure pushes the doors outward against the frame, making it impossible to open them in flight. Or, am I mistaken?

Al
YQBexYHZBGM

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineTristarSteve From Sweden, joined Nov 2005, 3982 posts, RR: 34
Reply 1, posted (10 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 5701 times:

If the aircraft is pressurised, you cannot open the door. The handle will shear off before the door opens.
But maybe the aircraft was not pressurised? If they were doing a stunt then they could depressurise the aircraft.
All the main deck doors are similar. They are all the same size and open the same way. They open forwards into the airstream, so that even if you opened the door it would not blow out, the airstream would blow it closed.
There is an emergency opening bottle fitted to the door for use in an evacuation. If the door was armed, and the aircraft unpressurised, and the door opened, then maybe this bottle would have enough energy to open the door into the airstream if the aircraft was flying slow enough. You need to convince Mythbusters to try.


User currently offlineYQBexYHZBGM From Canada, joined May 2009, 204 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (10 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 5620 times:

This wasn't a "stunt show" as such, it was part of an action drama program in which a "rescuer" grabs a passenger with a bomb strapped to his body, wrestles him over to the door, opens the door, jumps (or is blown) out of the aircraft with the bomber, manages to disengage the bomb, and deploys his parachute, saving them both.

Completely implausible on every level, but hey, it's TV drama. I didn't think it would be possible to open the door in real life, even if the plane were at FL10 or below. I'm not sure I'd even want the Mythbusters to try.  

Al
YQBexYHZBGM


User currently offlineVC-10 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 1999, 3700 posts, RR: 34
Reply 3, posted (10 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 5576 times:
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Quoting TristarSteve (Reply 1):
There is an emergency opening bottle fitted to the door for use in an evacuation. If the door was armed, and the aircraft unpressurised, and the door opened, then maybe this bottle would have enough energy to open the door into the airstream if the aircraft was flying slow enough.

That wouldn't work. If you ready for it you can hold a door back from fully deploying on the door assist bottle.


User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7694 posts, RR: 21
Reply 4, posted (10 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 5430 times:
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This is a most misleading thread title. It reads as though as part of a factual demonstration, an aircraft door was opened to see what would happen. It then appears to have been suggested that in fact this was nothing more than a fictional stunt in a drama show. Am I understanding this correctly?


✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlineYQBexYHZBGM From Canada, joined May 2009, 204 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (10 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 5411 times:

You understand correctly. It was not my intention to mislead; I could perhaps have placed a question mark at the end of the title. There are length limitations for topic titles, so at times it is difficult to choose an appropriate title within the allotted length.

User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6346 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (10 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 5377 times:

Quoting YQBexYHZBGM (Reply 2):
This wasn't a "stunt show" as such, it was part of an action drama program in which a "rescuer" grabs a passenger with a bomb strapped to his body, wrestles him over to the door, opens the door, jumps (or is blown) out of the aircraft with the bomber, manages to disengage the bomb, and deploys his parachute, saving them both.

What show? Sounds like I need to find some more entertaining TV fare    It doesn't star Richard Dean Anderson, perhaps?  



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlinedlednicer From United States of America, joined May 2005, 543 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (10 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 5182 times:
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It must be possible to open the passenger doors of an A330 in-flight, as that is how a hijacker exited Philippine Airlines Flight 812, on May 25, 2000. After robbing the passengers, the hijacker had the pilot depressurize the airplane and he bailed out from one of the rear doors. He had a homemade parachute, which of course, didn't work and he was killed.


Notice how the door has been pivoted by the flow, compared to:

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Photo © Stephan Kruse



User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17001 posts, RR: 67
Reply 8, posted (10 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 5146 times:

Quoting dlednicer (Reply 7):
It must be possible to open the passenger doors of an A330 in-flight, as that is how a hijacker exited Philippine Airlines Flight 812, on May 25, 2000. After robbing the passengers, the hijacker had the pilot depressurize the airplane and he bailed out from one of the rear doors. He had a homemade parachute, which of course, didn't work and he was killed.

Possible, yes. However the plane must be depressurized. Even a small pressure differential makes it impossible.

I find it hilarious that he planned all that, and then made the major fail of building his own parachute. Parachutes are not simple pieces of fabric! Apparently he didn't even have a rip cord so he fashioned one in flight from a curtain sash on the plane.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineGrisee08 From United States of America, joined Mar 2013, 353 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (10 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 5145 times:

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 6):
It doesn't star Richard Dean Anderson, perhaps?  

Nope.. It stars Will Forte

Does anybody else remember in the movie Air Force One, Agent Gibbs puts the door handle in the OPEN position, but the door itself does not move at all, and then he lifts this hatch, and there is a button that blows the door completely off? I'm not sure if the REAL VC-25As have that kind of feature installed, and if it is, it's more than likely one of the "classified" features and does not occur as shown. (much like the pod, and parachutes conveniently are placed in their respective locations.) Hollywood tends to "create" situations which need the "creation" of a set to go with the situation. The best phrase going on in Hollywood, and has been for a long time is... "What If?" If you can finish that question and it has not been thought up of yet (In Hollywood, almost all of the What Ifs have been thought of, hence all the remakes and what-not), you can probably come up, with the right writers, a really good storyline. However, not all movies involving airplanes are fictitious. I can think of only one where the interior, exterior, flight deck, etc. are all from the same type. (Not necessarily the same, one, aircraft.), and that is Passenger 57. Turbulence is pretty good too, and would be almost perfect if they had used a 747-100/200 flight deck. Also, you can tell the upper deck was built entirely for the movie*, while the lower deck was an actual Tower Air aircraft. The Upper Deck stretches only as far as the 747-200 goes, but the the doors of the -300/400 close to behind the flight deck. That only occured though as the situation called for the upper deck to be rotated to a complete 360°

edited to *explain why the upper deck was built for the movie whilst the lower deck is completely real. (as well as to say that the fictitious seat map goes along with this.)



You're Losing The Game!
User currently onlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3738 posts, RR: 11
Reply 10, posted (10 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5061 times:

There is a cabin smoke removal procedure on the 747 which calls to depressurize the aircraft and crack open one or two doors, depending on the location of the smoke. The doors are held slightly open with door straps as the relative wind pushes them closed.

But, as Tristarsteve said, they then open into the airflow which prevents them from opening further, barring an insane amount of force was applied to them.

Quoting dlednicer (Reply 7):
Notice how the door has been pivoted by the flow,

Interesting.
Doors on the Airbus, and some Boeing, translate instead of pivoting on themselves as on the 747.
I guess the door managed to translate forward far enough before the wind blew it 90 degrees where it got stuck, and allowed enough passage for the Darwin Award contender to jump out.



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7694 posts, RR: 21
Reply 11, posted (10 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 4947 times:
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Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 8):
I find it hilarious that he planned all that, and then made the major fail of building his own parachute. Parachutes are not simple pieces of fabric! Apparently he didn't even have a rip cord so he fashioned one in flight from a curtain sash on the plane.

It is indeed a truly ridiculous thing. Surely someone prepared to hijack rob a modern airliner could have figured out where to steal a real parachute from!



✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlineYQBexYHZBGM From Canada, joined May 2009, 204 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (10 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4898 times:

Quoting francoflier (Reply 10):
There is a cabin smoke removal procedure on the 747 which calls to depressurize the aircraft and crack open one or two doors, depending on the location of the smoke. The doors are held slightly open with door straps as the relative wind pushes them closed.

Say it ain't so! If the smoke is due to an undetected onboard fire, this could well be the result:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Canada_Flight_797

Quoting francoflier (Reply 10):
I guess the door managed to translate forward far enough before the wind blew it 90 degrees where it got stuck, and allowed enough passage for the Darwin Award contender to jump out.
Quoting RussianJet (Reply 11):
It is indeed a truly ridiculous thing. Surely someone prepared to hijack rob a modern airliner could have figured out where to steal a real parachute from!

I, too, thought of the "Darwin Awards." Even if he had a real parachute, I'm surprised he wasn't sliced in two by the horizontal stabilizer!

Al


User currently offlineUnited1689 From United States of America, joined May 2013, 71 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (10 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4893 times:

Quoting francoflier (Reply 10):
There is a cabin smoke removal procedure on the 747 which calls to depressurize the aircraft and crack open one or two doors, depending on the location of the smoke. The doors are held slightly open with door straps as the relative wind pushes them closed.

IIRC the crew on South African Flight 295 tried to open the doors to do exactly that. Boeing 747-200. Unfortunately it didn't work out for them.



The act of "driving" is only possible with a manual transmission.
User currently onlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3738 posts, RR: 11
Reply 14, posted (10 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 4837 times:

Quoting YQBexYHZBGM (Reply 12):
Say it ain't so! If the smoke is due to an undetected onboard fire, this could well be the result:

The procedure is more of a last resort thing, in case normal smoke evacuation procedures are insufficient and a timely diversion cannot be made. Of course it would be unwise to to do when there is an active fire in the cabin, but if the situation has come to the point where the cabin occupants are no longer able to breathe properly, then it's something.

Quoting United1689 (Reply 13):
IRC the crew on South African Flight 295 tried to open the doors to do exactly that.

I think there's no evidence that they tried to do it, and that, if they did, it was successful. Terrible accident...

Like I said, it's one of these checklists that are given as an option in a dire situation, without any guarantee.
"Well, since you're gonna die, you can always try that" kind of thing...



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlineLHRBFSTrident From UK - Northern Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 655 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (10 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 4671 times:

Quoting francoflier (Reply 14):
I think there's no evidence that they tried to do it, and that, if they did, it was successful. Terrible accident...

Like I said, it's one of these checklists that are given as an option in a dire situation, without any guarantee.
"Well, since you're gonna die, you can always try that" kind of thing...

I've seen the pages that describe this procedure from an airline 747 ops manual (forget which airline) and a diagram shows a nice loop of straps lashing the door handle at a vertical position, to the door frame assist handle..

which begs the question - are these procedures theoretical or must they actually have been demonstrated during testing and certification..?



Next up: LAX-LHR NZ002 Y SkyCouch! LHR-LAX NZ001 Y
User currently onlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3738 posts, RR: 11
Reply 16, posted (10 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4630 times:

Quoting LHRBFSTrident (Reply 15):
which begs the question - are these procedures theoretical or must they actually have been demonstrated during testing and certification..?

I'm pretty sure Boeing wouldn't have offered those without thoroughly testing them for effectiveness and user safety.
And since computer modeling wasn't available for that sort of thing back in the 747 classic days, then I guess someone had to go up and have fun opening doors in flight at some point.

But I'm only deducing.



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlineJAAlbert From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1555 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (10 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3828 times:

Imagine the damage a door could do to the engine, wing or tail surfaces if ripped off in flight. I would not want to be on that airplane - stunt or no stunt!

User currently offlinebarney captain From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 926 posts, RR: 13
Reply 18, posted (10 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 3742 times:

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 11):
It is indeed a truly ridiculous thing. Surely someone prepared to hijack rob a modern airliner could have figured out where to steal a real parachute from!

I suspect walking onboard with a real parachute as a carry-on would raise a few eyebrows. So its possible I suppose that it was something easily concealable and designed to not look like a parachute.



...from the Banana Republic....
User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2311 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (10 months 6 days ago) and read 3649 times:
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Quoting barney captain (Reply 18):
I suspect walking onboard with a real parachute as a carry-on would raise a few eyebrows. So its possible I suppose that it was something easily concealable and designed to not look like a parachute.

Seat pack chutes are not very big. You could fit many of them into an ordinary carry-on, especially if you remove the back cushion*. In fact most emergency chutes are fairly compact, much smaller than what you see the typical skydiver wearing. Ideally if you knew you were going to be jumping out of an airplane you'd want a real jump chute, with the larger canopy, backup chute, and all that, but any compact emergency chute is going to be immensely better than some homemade contraption.


*which is usually easy - in many cases you can swap the back cushions for thicker or thinner ones anyway to adjust your seating position.


User currently offlinecopter808 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1059 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (10 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3618 times:

Quoting barney captain (Reply 18):
I suspect walking onboard with a real parachute as a carry-on would raise a few eyebrows. So its possible I suppose that it was something easily concealable and designed to not look like a parachute.

I an assure you it will. I did it back in about 1970 after breaking a military aircraft and having to fly home on a commercial flight. I didn't trust baggage handlers with the chute and we couldn't lock the broken (no door locks) airplane.

I think we would get even more strange looks nowdays!


User currently offlinejetsetter1969 From Australia, joined Jul 2013, 45 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (10 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 3176 times:

quoting from wikipedia

South African Airways Flight 295 was a Boeing 747-244B Combi,[3] named The Helderberg (registration ZS-SAS; serial number 22171) that was delivered to the airline in 1980. The aircraft took off on 27 November 1987 from Taipei Chiang Kai Shek International Airport,[6] on a flight to Johannesburg via Mauritius. Dawie Uys served as the captain of the flight

At some point during the flight, a fire developed in the cargo section on the main deck; the fire was probably not extinguished before impact. The 'smoke evacuation' checklist calls for the aircraft to be depressurised, and for two of the cabin doors to be opened. No evidence exists that the checklist was followed, or the doors opened. A crew member might have gone into the cargo hold to try to fight the fire. A charged fire extinguisher was later recovered from the wreckage on which investigators found molten metal.

cheers
Dave


User currently offlineUnited1689 From United States of America, joined May 2013, 71 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (10 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3083 times:

Quoting jetsetter1969 (Reply 21):
quoting from wikipedia
Quoting jetsetter1969 (Reply 21):
No evidence exists that the checklist was followed, or the doors opened.

Just because there is no evidence doesn't mean it didn't happen. However, since the airplane did in fact crash it may be safe to assume that even if they did manage to get the doors open, it couldn't have been all that effective.



The act of "driving" is only possible with a manual transmission.
User currently offlinejetsetter1969 From Australia, joined Jul 2013, 45 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (10 months 22 hours ago) and read 2998 times:

interesting thing in that wikipedia is a transcript of the radio chatter with atc and in it the crew said they opened 2 doors, yet the wikipedia account says there is no evidence ...go figure?

cheers
Dave


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