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Exits During Flight  
User currently offlineAA727 From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 124 posts, RR: 0
Posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5194 times:

My dad just came in the door, just got back from flying AA from Orlando. He told me that he was wondering, what the hell prevents someone from opening an emergency exit during flight? Although I thought it was a weird question, it got me thinking. I couldn't come up with an answer except that I'm sure if someone tried to open the door, a crowd of people would jump on him pretty quick. But, I'm sure that the airlines have SOME other way of preventing this!

Sean


33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5172 times:

The doors and exits are what they call "plug" doors, and are bigger than the openings (via internal mechanical stuff) when closed. As such, the pressurized cabin pushes the door against it's frame, and it won't open.

Now, in the movies, that show this happening all the time..... Not in real life...


User currently offlineM717 From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 608 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5170 times:

If you look closely, you'll notice the exits (both door and window) are "plug" type exits. In other words, they seat against the fuselage structure. They must all first be opened inward before moving outward. The aircraft pressure differential (in most cases around 8 psi at typical cruise altitudes) would prevent the opening of these exits in flight. Think of the number of square inches in any exit, multiply times 7 or 8, and this would be the force in pounds that you would have to overcome to open this exit.

User currently offlineScootertrash From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 569 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5173 times:

The air pressure inside the cabin is greater than the air pressure outside. This pushes the emergency exit door (from this inside) up against the fuselage very tightly. Since you have to pull the exit inward to open it, the exit cannot be opened in flight because you would not be strong enough to overcome the pressure differential. This is why the exits are called "plug" type doors.

The main cabin doors are the same way. Watch someone open one sometime and you will see they must first move inward in order to be opened.


User currently offlineM717 From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 608 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5179 times:

OPNLguy,

I see you beat me by a couple of minutes. I guess you were posting as I was typing.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy


User currently offlineM717 From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 608 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5172 times:

This discussion reminds me of my favorite "media aviation expert" story. It was during coverage of 9/11. One of the network's "experts" was talking about UAL 93 with it's flight path being shown via a flight tracker in the background. He made this statement: "If I wanted to prevent an airliner from reaching it's destination, I would open an emergency exit and cause a rapid decompression. There's no way that aircraft would reach it's destination."

I thought, "What an idiot. And the network pays this guy to be an 'aviation expert' ".


User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5129 times:

>>>He made this statement: "If I wanted to prevent an airliner from reaching it's destination, I would open an emergency exit and cause a rapid decompression. There's no way that aircraft would reach it's destination."

I wish I had a buck for every dumb comment like this from a media person--I'd be rich, retired, and living at an undisclosed location.

It sounds like he'd watched "Die Hard 2" or some other cinematic masterpeice once too often...


User currently offlineAA61hvy From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 13977 posts, RR: 56
Reply 7, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5108 times:

I think the doors weigh like 40lbs, so a frail lady could not do it.


Go big or go home
User currently offlineAA727 From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5081 times:

Bit of an obvious answer I overlooked Smile/happy/getting dizzy. Thanks

Sean


User currently offlineM717 From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 608 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5073 times:

" I think the doors weigh like 40lbs, so a frail lady could not do it."

That's what they (window exits) weigh by themselves. Put 7+ psi pressure differential against them, and they weigh considerably more. So much more that not even the strongest could "do it".


User currently offlineCdfmxtech From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 1341 posts, RR: 26
Reply 10, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5098 times:

In addition to that, airplanes such as the B737 Next gens have flightlock solenoids that prevent the emergency exit door handles from even being moved to the open position.



User currently offlineScootertrash From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 569 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5068 times:

OPNL and M717:

Okay, that was strange.... Less than a minute separation between our posts! That's a first for me!


User currently offlineB747skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 4946 times:

I was answering flight attendant questions in a classroom not too long ago, in one of these sessions where "a pilot" is scheduled to present the point of view of flight crews vs. cabin crews... etc...
xxx
With some 8 psi cabin pressure differential, we computed the total pressure which "plugs" an exit door of a 747 against the fuselage structure frame... if I remember well, we computed it to be 16,000 kg... 35,000 lbs or so...
xxx
So if you need to go outside the plane in-flight, to go and puff a cigarette sitting on the wing, be ready to use muscles...  Smile
xxx
Happy contrails
(s) Skipper


User currently offlineDc10hound From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 463 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4827 times:

I know it's a "horse of different color" (aft cargo door/ramp), but check this:

Passengers sucked out of plane
Friday, May 9, 2003 Posted: 1:17 PM EDT (1717 GMT)

KINSHASA, Congo -- Several passengers were sucked out of a Russian-made cargo plane when the aircraft's rear door flew open during a flight over the Democratic Republic of Congo.


http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/africa/05/09/plane.deaths/index.html



"Eagles soar. But weasels never get sucked into jet intakes.."
User currently offlineShaun3000 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 445 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4724 times:

Skipper:

How'd you get 35,000 lbs? 35,000 (lbs) /8(lbs/in^2) = 4735 in^2 / 12 in^2 = 365 ft^2. That's a damn big door.


User currently offlineCheckerboard From Hong Kong, joined Jul 2001, 33 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4690 times:

How about the cargo bay doors? Are they also "pluge" type?
Thanks a lot!


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29841 posts, RR: 58
Reply 16, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4681 times:

Actually Shaun3000 the calculation is....

35000/8

4735/144 which equals out to roughly 33 square feet.

Which sounds about right.

You have to divide by 144 since there are 12 inches in a foot, so 12 inches on a side times 12 inches on a side would equal 144 inches square in a square foot.

[Edited 2003-05-11 16:40:30]


OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineEssentialPowr From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1820 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 4658 times:

"With some 8 psi cabin pressure differential, we computed the total pressure which "plugs" an exit door of a 747 against the fuselage structure frame... if I remember well, we computed it to be 16,000 kg... 35,000 lbs or so..."

From the above ex, the "total" pressure is 8 psi, the resultant force is 35000 lbs. Force is a different concept than pressure...


User currently offlineAirplay From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 4643 times:

Everyone except one has ignored the pressure and speed locks installed in some aircraft.

What would stop someone from opening an emergency exit while the airplane is taking off? Many aircraft utilize speed (above 80 KTS or so) and/or pressure locks that inhibit the opening mechanism at inappropriate times.

Strangely enough, not all emergency exists are "plug" types either. There are a few instances of exits held in by claws. Much like the cargo door that blew open in one of the examples above.

By the way, the main doors are protectd by speed and/or pressure locks that inhibit the opening mechanism too.



User currently offlineAvioniker From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 1109 posts, RR: 11
Reply 19, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4578 times:

On the 737NG, once the throttles are pushed up for takeoff with the doors closed, the lock solenoids drop into position and the plane is pressurized to a level slightly below the ambient field pressure (.125 diff). Since the emergency exits are plug doors it'd be hard to get them open. You have to pull the handle hard enough to overcome the solenoid pins plus be able to overcome about 90lbs of force pushing the door outward.
The Cargo bin doors are plug type doors also.



One may educate the ignorance from the unknowing but stupid is forever. Boswell; ca: 1533
User currently offlineEssentialPowr From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1820 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4550 times:

It's rather implicit from the calculation preformed above that, once the cabin shows a psid, opening a plug type door becomes almost impossible.

"By the way, the main doors are protectd by speed and/or pressure locks that inhibit the opening mechanism too."

Which aircraft?


User currently offlineCdfmxtech From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 1341 posts, RR: 26
Reply 21, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4554 times:

The B777 is the only aircraft that I know of which has Main Door Flightlocks and they rely on airspeed. Above 80 kts, door are locked

User currently offlineQWERTY From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 387 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4541 times:

my brother was on a flight (way before 9/11) where someone in the exit row freaked out and pulled the handles on an over wing exit after rotation.

Of course, nothing tragic happened, but the captain did quickly return and plane waited on the ground for hours for mech.s to reset the exit.

And, of course, the guy who freaked out got his mouth bloodied first and then his ass kicked before landing. Turns out he was diabetic and had some kind of blood sugar/rage/fear issue. Don't know whether he was charged or not, but these days, I HOPE he would be.


User currently offlineEssentialPowr From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1820 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 4487 times:

cdfmxtech-

Thanks for the input. It appears Airplay has made a mistake in his blanket assumption of "speed/and or pressure locks"...other than the 777, no Boeing I'm aware of has a "speed" input lock. I'm not sure on Airbus products, but I don't think so there either...


User currently offlineMxCtrlr From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 2485 posts, RR: 34
Reply 24, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 4468 times:

A perfect example of this was when I was with the original Pan Am. We had two serious-injury incidents back-to-back - one at MIA and one at JFK - involving personnel injuries while opening the A300 passenger doors. It seems that with as little as .5 differential PSI, it is still possible to open the A300 door however, at that differential PSI, the door opens with a force of over 845 pounds! The poor operator of the door who is unfortunate enough to open it with .5 differential PSI, is launched like a toy airplane!

Since Boeing designs their plug-type doors differently from Airbus, the same situation does not occur. Instead, with Boeing aircraft, if you leave the air conditioning packs running and everything else closed up, you may not be able to exit the aircraft or, if you've left it powered down and closed up, with the ground air conditioning attached and running, you may not be able to get back into the aircraft later! (I've seen this happen a few times and it is embarassing having to wait until the pressure bleeds off so that you can get into the aircraft!

MxCtrlr  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Freight Dogs Anonymous - O.O.T.S.K.  Smokin cool



DAMN! This SUCKS! I just had to go to the next higher age bracket in my profile! :-(
25 Post contains links Dc10hound : We had two serious-injury incidents back-to-back - one at MIA and one at JFK - involving personnel injuries while opening the A300 passenger doors. An
26 Bruce : Flight Attendant to passenger: "sir if you really feel the need to have a cigarette on this flight then feel free to go outside and have a seat on the
27 Dc10hound : with Boeing aircraft, if you leave the air conditioning packs running and everything else closed up, you may not be able to exit the aircraft or, if y
28 Post contains images MxCtrlr : Well, closing the outflow valve would fall under the inclusion of "everything else". I have had cases on the 727 where, when power was removed from th
29 Post contains images AJ : There is something very reassuring about the simplicity of the 767/DC-10/L-1011 style doors which remain inside the aircraft at all times, few moving
30 OPNLguy : >>>However the main cargo doors are a different matter, however lessons learned in blood on the DC-10 and 747 seem to have made the large, outward swi
31 EssentialPowr : Airplay, "Everyone except one has ignored the pressure and speed locks installed in some aircraft." CDfmxtech mentioned the speed input on the 777...s
32 AJ : OPNLguy, I've read many books that cover the THY crash in 1974, but none so readable and understandable as Air Disaster by Macarthur Job. He covers th
33 Post contains images Aer Lingus : The simplest answer is the pressure acting on the doors
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