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Opening the door of a business jet seems easy. You depressurize the cabin then just open the "handle" and kick it down.

But what about the main door used to get out of the cockpit in an aircraft such as a Cessna Skylane? Assume a situation of 100 knots, flaps at 30°.

In such a situation, the door would act as a parachute and fighting 100 knots of wind doesn't seem easy. (Although opening the window would help a little bit.)

Could an average American (fat but not totally obese) do it?

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    $\begingroup$ Which door? The hatches on wings or the main door? Hatches will be opened inside, so also pressure will keep them in place, but main door open outside, so it is not the pressure that take them looked, but bolts and looks. $\endgroup$ – Giacomo Catenazzi May 18 at 15:03
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    $\begingroup$ @GiacomoCatenazzi the idea came from the movies where the protoganist just opens the door of a private plane and jumps away with a parachute leaving the porotgatinst to die etc. $\endgroup$ – Jonathan Irons May 18 at 15:07
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    $\begingroup$ Skydiving planes either don't install the door prior to flight, or have a garage door type system where it lifts up into the aircraft. Opening a Skyhawk door in flight isn't that hard and you don't have to be fat to do it. It's actually pretty easy if you side slip. The doors will actually pop open by themselves if not latched (ask me how I know). $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer May 18 at 15:20
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    $\begingroup$ The accident in that video happened not far from where I live. Everybody in that mid air collision survived, even the pilot who was able to bail out. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer May 18 at 17:16
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    $\begingroup$ @aCVn got to open door to bail out? $\endgroup$ – Notts90 May 18 at 20:54
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" the door would act as a parachute" No, the door acts like a giant wedge and the wind tries to push it closed, just like a car. In my Cessna Cardinal, which has a longer door than a 172 or 182, the door can only be pushed open about 4" at the back. Go driving, and see if you can push your car door open. Then try it on the highway.

I would think a C182 with flaps at 30 degrees would be doing less than 100 knots, 30 knots is used for takeoff and landing, when the plane would be going slower.

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  • $\begingroup$ Wouldn't full fuel MTOW takeoff require higher airspeed and thus highen the stall speed? $\endgroup$ – Jonathan Irons May 19 at 17:28
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    $\begingroup$ What's that have to do with opening the door while flying? $\endgroup$ – CrossRoads May 19 at 17:34
  • $\begingroup$ simple. more weight the higher stall speed and the higher stall speed means you will have to fly faster which means you will have to fight with more higher winds. $\endgroup$ – Jonathan Irons May 19 at 17:36
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    $\begingroup$ kirtlandflightcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/C182-POH.pdf page ii, Flaps down, power off stall speed = 50 knots. Independent of wind. Airborne wind only affects ground speed. Higher weight just means a longer ground run to get to flying speed. $\endgroup$ – CrossRoads May 19 at 17:57

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