I think, if there is only a 0.1 bar pressure difference with a single square meter door, around the weight of a ton would be needed to open it - if it is sealed hermetically and opens outward.

Is it possible?

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ If you're thinking about the Germanwings crash, note that according to the AvHerald article, the CVR heard the first officer breathing normally during the entire descent. $\endgroup$ Mar 27, 2015 at 3:11
  • $\begingroup$ Can the pressure equalize thru ECS (page 11)? $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Mar 27, 2015 at 7:54
  • $\begingroup$ @HenningMakholm Ok, it will be my next question - human breath is normally silent, especially with the backgroound noice of a plane. $\endgroup$
    – Gray Sheep
    Mar 27, 2015 at 11:18
  • $\begingroup$ @HenningMakholm Sorry for the late reaction - but, depressurization doesn't cause shortness of breath. It is caused by the increased $CO_2$ concentration in the blood. In the case of depressurization, this decreases. I once talked with a pilot, he said they were trained for that. As he said, he didn't feel any asphyxication, he feels himself normal - except that he starts to feel his body extremely weighty. And they lose consciousness very quickly, there is no willpower what could it compensate. And he breathes normally. $\endgroup$
    – Gray Sheep
    Feb 8, 2018 at 18:43

1 Answer 1


Firstly: Flightdeck doors are to the best of my knowledge not hermetically sealed.

Secondly: Doors will normally have one of several solutions employed to safely handle explosive decompression:

  • Some doors have panels that pop out to equalise the pressure, especially inwards.
  • Some doors unlock automatically in one or both directions.

Needless to say, you need one solution in either direction. Whatever pressure difference there is it will most probably very quickly be equalised and there should not be any difficulty in opening the door if need be.


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