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Imagine in a hypothetical situation that a commercial airliner was left on autopilot at some cruising altitude. Next imagine that all pilots left the flight deck and the door slammed shut behind them (presumably locked). Would they all be completely trapped outside the flight deck or would there be a way to enter should there be a situation like this?

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The flight deck door lock system is normally turned on while on the ground and remains on for the entire flight. Once the system is turned on, the door DOES lock automatically when closed and can only be opened by the pilots in the flight deck.

If both pilots left the flight deck, the door would lock automatically behind them unless the door lock system was first turned off. There are procedures in place which can allow the door to be unlocked from the cabin in case no one in the flight deck can open it due to incapacitation.

The pilots can also over-ride this unlocking procedure in case they suspect criminal interference or un-authorized entry attempt. This over-ride feature prevented the Captain of Germanwings 9525 from re-entering the flight deck as the suicidal First Officer deliberately crashed the aircraft killing all on board.

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It would have to be an extraordinary situation for both pilots to leave the flight deck, but in any case the doors don't work like that. They don't automatically lock on closing and have to be locked by a deliberate action from the fight deck side.

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    $\begingroup$ The first rule of Fight Deck is: don't talk about Fight Deck. $\endgroup$
    – abelenky
    Jul 16, 2018 at 13:45
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    $\begingroup$ Lol that made me think of the other golden rule of flying. What happens in the sim stays in the sim. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Jul 16, 2018 at 15:33
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    $\begingroup$ In normal operation the flight deck door DOES automatically lock when closed. $\endgroup$ Jul 17, 2018 at 1:59
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    $\begingroup$ Ok I guess it depends on the airplane. My experience was on CRJs where the basic reinforced door is a simple deadbolt slider operable from the fight deck side only, and a key operable deadbolt that can be operated from the cabin side. There was no lock-on-latch function. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Jul 17, 2018 at 2:15
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    $\begingroup$ Was that pre 9/11? I would expect all passenger airliners now have auto lock. All Boeing and Airbus do. $\endgroup$ Jul 17, 2018 at 2:30

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