“Open” is not a good instruction at 35000′

Returning from SHARE over the weekend, I was sitting in the exit row of a 777. There are emergency doors just in front of these seats which gives plenty of legroom.

Emergency Exit on 777

Emergency Exit on 777

About half-way across the Atlantic I was woken by a woman who was trying to follow the instruction written on this door. I had to point out rather loudly that this was NOT the door to the lavs…

Everyone should know that these doors cannot actually open when in flight because of the pressure differential. But I still didn’t like the idea of testing the theory.


3 thoughts on ““Open” is not a good instruction at 35000′

  1. marktaylorhursley Post author

    I’ve heard from other people who have been on flights where someone tried to open the door. The most worrying was the drunk who tried it when the pilot made the “cabin crew, prepare for landing” announcement. At that point, the plane will be at about 10,000ft and so the pressure diff is a lot less – maybe it’s possible at that point.
    And I’m not certain how the explosives in the door work for inflating the slides … I know I was delayed once because someone in the ground crew had opened a door that had not been correctly disarmed and triggered the raft. Just like a car airbag, they are expensive to re-fit and take even longer to change.


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