If this is not a living nightmare, I don’t know what is. According to USA Today, “At least 12 people suffered injuries Friday after officials said a passenger opened an Asiana Airlines commercial plane door during a flight in South Korea. The incident took place on an Airbus A321 jet in East Asia as the plane, carrying 194 people was heading to the city of Daegu from the southern island of Jeju, Asiana Airlines and government officials confirmed.” RELATED: Airline Passenger Sets Toilet and Trash Can on Fire Mid-Flight
I always thought a plane door couldn’t open mid-flight because of the air pressure but this obviously proves me wrong. I’m guessing it’s because the plane was close to touching down so it was going much slower than usual. The Associated Press reports, “the incident occurred when the plane was reaching the Daegu airport at an altitude of 700 feet (213 meters).”
The New York Times posted video of the incident on Instagram with the caption, “A man was arrested on suspicion of unlocking an emergency exit on an Asiana Airlines flight in South Korea when it was about 700 feet off the ground. The plane landed safely, but nine passengers were hospitalized after they experienced difficulty breathing.”
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The video was filmed by someone sitting three or four rows behind the emergency exit and shows the plane door open while in the air and the seatback head protectors flapping in the wind. It had to be a truly nightmarish feeling for those closest to the open door. Supposedly passengers tried to stop the man but were not able to.
This is definitely unsettling but thankfully no one got seriously hurt or worse. I wouldn’t worry about it happening in the future because according to ABC News, “Opening an aircraft door is impossible while the plane is at cruising altitude or above 10,000 feet due to air pressure. However, as the plane gets lower, experts say it is possible for a door to open as the pressure outside equalizes with the pressure inside the plane.”
There are a lot of adventure travelers who pay big money to fly in helicopters or small aircrafts that have the doors open (like the video above), especially at lower altitudes like this incident happened. Let’s just hope those nearby passengers shared their sense of excitement.
I don’t share that excitement but I did once fly in an open-door Huey Bell UH-1 Iroquois Helicopter at an air show. It was fun but my hands were definitely sweating. If the Asiana incident had happened to me, I would have needed a change of clothes.
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