Door - Door-related Accidents - Accident Types and Prevention - Aircraft Doors

Aircraft Doors

Doors which lead from interior, pressurized, sections of an aircraft to exterior or unpressurized areas can pose extreme risk if they are inadvertently opened during flight. This can be mitigated by having doors that opens inwardly and is designed to be forced into its door frame by the internal cabin pressure - most cabin doors are of this type. However, an outward opening door is often advantageous for cargo doors to maximise available space, and these need to be secured by hefty locking mechanisms to overcome internal pressure.

A number of accidents have occurred where outward-opening aircraft doors were opened in flight, often accidentally:

  • American Airlines Flight 96 (1972)
  • Turkish Airlines Flight 981 (1974)
  • Pan Am Flight 125 (1987)
  • United Airlines Flight 811 (1989)

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