What Would Happen If An Airplane Door Burst Open Mid-Flight?

Been seeing too many scary thrillers where the bad guys open an airplane door and everyone gets sucked out into … nothing? Apparently someone else was worried too. Here you go!


Has this terrible thought ever crossed your mind while you were sitting on a plane trying to relax? The chance of this happening is pretty slim. But, if you have seen movies like Final Destination or Non-Stop, you get the idea of what would happen.


Video via – AsapSCIENCE
Further Readings And References @ National Geographic, Princeton UniversityBrainstuff and Air & Space Magazine

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Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

28 thoughts on “What Would Happen If An Airplane Door Burst Open Mid-Flight?”

      1. We circled the airport about 10 times. The pilot tried to land 5 times and we were swept off the runway sideways and I was watching out the window as the runway turned into grass. A guy came and sat with me (I was 18) and we talked. Finally we landed and a pilot hitching a ride ran to the front and said “that was a hell of a landing, you saved our lives…” and got yanked into the front with the other pilots before he could finish his statement. As we got off, the stewardess said I looked like a ghost. I have transclucent skin so white white white anyway, but apparantly she thought I was even more ghostly than usual. lol. I haven’t flown since. hmmm not that Ive had the opportunity, but we dropped 1000 ft at a shot on 2 occasions before we got to the airport to attempt a landing. It was written up in the paper so we got the details later. Still, I’m not afraid of flying, I would if I could but I’ve nowhere to go tbh. A glider going down would have scared me @#$less though.


  1. We were up in a little airplane for skydiving decades ago, and it was like a little VW bus with the side door open most of the time at maybe 3,000-6,000 feet. It terrified me beyond anything, but nobody got sucked out at that height.


    1. And you wouldn’t anyway from a small plane because there’s no compression in the cabin. I have a lot of friends who have little planes and I’ve been up in ONE plane that didn’t have any cabin — it was open. Gets cold up there, but no sucking winds.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes, certainly no heat. It seemed like riding in an open VW bus, only in the sky. I hated it but was stoical. I was not jumping out but everyone else except the pilot did–there had been maybe six of us to start, and two left at the end.


              1. Door “opened” in chopper as we flew over West Point for aerials. I was leaning out. Suspicious because Bobby Moulton was my laughing partner.


      1. Mostly to do with the maximum altitude of a small plane. At 3000 to 6000 feet air pressure is almost normal, unlike a commercial flight which flies at 25,000 to 35,000 feet. At 35K the outside air pressure is really low, which is why they can go faster more efficiently, but the pressure differential is such that if a door was to open the air in the cabin, being pressurized for the comfort of the passengers, would rush out to the lower pressure outside environment.., maybe taking a few objects with it, like people. It’s kinda what your vacuum cleaner does. It creates a low-pressure area in the canister allowing it to “suck” up particles of schmutz caught in the inrush of air trying to fill the temporary low-pressure space (almost a vacuum).


  2. Oh grand. ANOTHER reason (if I needed such) that I will never EVER fly again. Between the exorbitant cost, the crowding, the unseemly trend toward allowing ‘service animals’ (which might cover anything from a newt to an alpaca) on flights and in Coach (which is evil. Pure evil). Now I have to worry about some unsteady soul teetering off to the inflight potty and stumbling against a door and all of us being whooshed out into oblivion. At least it’ll be fast….(in theory)…


    1. We feel the same way. Actually, I don’t hate airplanes. I hate AIRPORTS. And airlines. And the companies that sell the tickets. I hate everything about flying except for the actual flying and these days, with the overcrowded cabins, that not much fun either.

      In any case, no normal human is going to open that door. They would have to blow it off with a bomb.


  3. One time the pilot had to make two attempts to land. “Whoops we’ll try that again.” he said. As for the door opening – don’t want to think about that.


  4. They had to send a repair crew onto the plane to fix a door prior to my very first flight 17 years ago. My Mom (who was there to see me and my Dad off, it was my Millionaire trip) was quite horrified…


    1. I’ll bet. I would have seriously considered never flying anywhere again. As it is, I probably will never fly again anyway. They have made airline travel such a misery, I can’t imagine wanting to give it another go.


        1. There was a time when I loved traveling, but that was more than 25 years ago. Once upon a time, flying was a treat and travel was fun and exciting. Now, it’s just a pain in the ass, expensive and exhausting. Times have changed … and I have changed, too. I’m too old for that kind of drama.


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