Passenger who tried to open plane door during flight given 2-year sentence

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“kill you all”… thinking…

In the almost impossible chance of this happening, a door blowing out would not destroy the plane. However, it got me thinking that a forward door opening could deploy the slide. Question… What arms/disarms the slide? Is there any redundancy… like it doesn’t deploy if the wheels are up and the plane is moving?

Wow, two years for the attempted murder of 206 people? That works out to less than one year per 100 people.


Gee, I wonder why she got off so light…


It’s physically impossible to actually open the door in flight. So it wasn’t so much attempted murder as public threatening or disturbing the peace or something.

OTOH, if she really believed the door would open, I guess intention matters. But still, the plausibility of the threat probably factors into the human judgement about sentencing, right?


Is it “attempted murder” though?

It’s physically impossible to open an airplane door mid-flight. Here’s why.
Physics explains why you can never open a plane door mid-flight
Can an Airplane Door Open in Midflight?


I am almost positive she wouldn’t have been charged with even a single count of attempted murder.

For one thing, it’s essentially impossible for an unaided human to open the cabin doors at elevation.The pressure differential works out to around 11psi. For a 3.5x6ft passenger door, that’s a total force somewhere north of 13kN. Let’s round it down to the equivalent of a mere 10 metric tonnes.

For another, if the claim that she was under the influence of a mix of medication and alcohol held up, then prosecution likely wouldn’t have been able to show intent.

Oh, and she’s a young, attractive white woman.

(and now I wonder what the judicial bias figures look like in the UK as compared to the US)

(PS. Endangering safety of an aircraft limits the penalties to either 2 or 5 years. My headache is preventing me from finding the relevant bit of referenced statutes; maybe someone else can do a better job with the link above)


Did she know that, though? If she stated her intention to kill the entire plane, and did not know that you can’t open the door in flight, that’s still her attempting to kill the entire plane. Failed attempts to kill someone are STILL attempted murder. The inability to open the door is irrelevant to her intentions.


“I want to die” and “I’m going to kill you all”

She should make the big life decisions for herself, and leave us the fu#k out’a her plans.


Aircraft doors open outward and the pressure is higher inside the plane, so the latching mechanism is essential to keeping the door closed in flight. Fortunately, said mechanism was designed by clever people, so that it is held shut with the pressure differential. That big locking handle causes the door guts to expand inside the fuselage door frame when turned to the ‘locked’ position. Once the door is expanded, it plugs the hole tightly.

It’s a subtle distinction, but necessary to know, based on the photo accompanying the article.


Sure, but again, if she’s unaware that she can’t open the door and fully intended to do as she stated, that’s still attempted murder. :woman_shrugging: the physics of this is certainly interesting, but physics isn’t on trial here, this woman is… What matters is her actions or attempted actions, and what she said.


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Legally, I wonder how that works. If one buys some fake poison/explosive/gun, intended to kill someone, in a law enforcement sting, it’s treated as the real thing. At the same time, I can’t imagine that anyone gets convicted if their preferred method of attempted murder is totally delusional (e.g. hiring a witch-doctor to put a curse on them…). There must be some middle ground, though… and as you say, intent is at least supposed to count for something.

In this case, attempted murder doesn’t seem to remotely come into the legal case - they essentially convicted her of being a sufficiently disruptive pain-in-the-ass in an airplane. Perhaps the fact that she was drunk at the time had something to do with it?


Theoretically, even if she did get the door open it wouldn’t have downed the plane. My question was more about the slide deploying and jacking up a wing or engine… if she got it open. (my love of aviation is making me work through her thought process and also the mechanics of her intent )

I took a look and learned that the doors are manually armed by the crew shortly after engine start, meaning if the door opens the slide is deploying. Likewise the crew must disarm the door before opening it again, and apparently accidental crew related deployments cause $20 million in damages every year.

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This isn’t her putting a curse on someone, though. It’s a real world action or an attempt at one. Her ignorance at how airplane doors work is not the same thing as her believing in curses, I’d argue.

But if they did not charge her with attempted murder, then yes, that’s another thing entirely, too.


Well, or say, having a delusional belief that non-dairy creamer is poisonous and sticking it in someone’s coffee to kill them. (Though hiring a hitman or hiring a witchdoctor to fatally curse someone, both intended to kill a person, seem identical in intent to me - the only difference is the belief that it will be effective is delusional in one case.)

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Right, the court can only go by what the society considers real and rational… cursing is not considered real in our current society (while that could very much get you executed not too long ago in Europe and in the US, as well as currently in some places). If she could open the door, she very much could have killed everyone on board, so I’d say again, not understanding how the doors work is different enough than her saying she’s gong to pray for the plane to go down, but not take any practical actions herself.



White woman= going through some things, needs help. Even showed up here in this thread.
Brown guy speaking arabic= hates freedom, wants to kill us all.


Indeed her white skin got her a pretty light sentence compared to what a brown guy speaking arabic would have gotten…