Alaska Airline Passenger Attempts To Open Emergency Exit During Flight

Alaska Air

In every passenger’s worst case scenario, one insane passenger opens the emergency exit while the plane is flying causing the plane to depressurize and possibly crash. Such was the scenario aboard Alaska Airlines Flight 132 to Portland, Oregon, from Anchorage, Alaska. At approximately 5:20 a.m. Pacific Coast Time, the passenger seated in row 17, Alexander Michael Herrera, 23 attempted to open the emergency exit.  However, passengers and the flight crew restrained the man and the flight landed safely about 10 minutes later.  Airline spokesman Bobbie Egan said, “Once the passenger was restrained he sat calmly in the seat for the short duration of the flight.”  When the plane landed it was met by police, who took Herrera into custody. FBI spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele issued a statement saying passengers and members of the crew said “the man made unusual statements prior to the incident,” but she declined to reveal the nature of the statements.  Herrera is being booked into the Multnomah County (Oregon) Detention Center, and will stand before a federal magistrate in Portland on Tuesday, Steele said. While such incidents are extremely rare, are they as dangerous as they would appear? The answer is absolutely not.  The emergency exits are locked during the flight and there would be no possible way a human being could open them.  But what if the exit wasn’t locked?  It would make no difference,  When the cabin is pressurized, it equalizes the pressure between the forces pushing in and the forces pushing out of the plane’s hull.  The great pressures at work makes it impossible to open the door while the aircraft is in flight.  Authorities have even tested the scenario of a bullet piercing the hull of a jetliner and the plane is virtually unaffected.  The designers have pretty much thought of all of the possible scenarios.  Coupled with heightened passenger awareness since 9-11, no one need worry about unruly passengers.  Flying is still the safest mode of transportation.

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