"We thought it wasn't possible" - Corriere.it

"We thought it wasn't possible" - Corriere.it

A passenger opened one of the rear emergency exit doors of an airplane while it was in the process of descending. The force of the incoming air flow injured 12 people - who complained of breathing difficulties and ear problems -, while the perpetrator was arrested once on the ground. The event occurred on board an Airbus A321 operated by Asiana Airlines for a direct flight to Daegu, South Korea. But the incident - recorded on the mobile phones of those who were in the aircraft - has been alarming several pilots and experts for a few hours whether the gesture has not highlighted a structural vulnerability of the jets.

The Asiana flight route (from Flightradar24)

The dynamics

Several insiders invite you to wait for the outcome of the preliminary investigation to understand how things went. The little certain information tells of passengers who try, one minute before landing, to stop the man who still manages to partially open the emergency exit while the Airbus - according to data provided by Flightradar24 - was at 213 meters of share. On board flight OZ8124 — which took off from Jeju at 11.58 local time (4.58 in Italy, ed) — there were 194 passengers (including 48 minors) and six crew members.

Commanders and first officers

The hatch concerned, the third on the left - located behind the wing - seems to have opened regularly, according to the images published by the local authorities. The Courier has contacted several Airbus A320 and A321 pilots and all of them are struggling to hide their amazement at a type of event that none of them have ever heard of. I didn't think it was possible to open it this way, says a captain of a European low-cost airline who requests anonymity because he is not authorized by the carrier to report his name and surname. I was honestly convinced that there was some kind of blocking of the exits, adds another, from a traditional company.

The passenger author of the gesture taken away
The passenger author of the gesture taken away

The pressure difference

Every year there are dozens of cases of travelers trying to open the hatches in flight. But they never succeed because the events occur at high altitudes when it is physically impossible to open them wide: during the cruising phase a pressure difference is created between the inside of the cabin (where it is high) and the outside (where it is low) such as to seal the door and make forcing impossible, unless explosives are used.

During the descent

As you go down in altitude, the internal pressure gets closer and closer to that on the ground and this removes the seal. Anyone familiar with the technical characteristics of aircraft points out that from a certain altitude downwards the hatch could have less sealing. At that moment the aircraft was proceeding at 277 kilometers per hour, not just a little. It will be up to the South Korean Civil Aviation Authority to identify the causes. But it is probable that Airbus technicians will also be called in the investigations.

Source link