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john65pennington's avatar

You're 36,000 ft. above earth and a hole erupts in the fuselage of the aircraft you are in. What are your thoughts and what would you do?

Asked by john65pennington (29182points) April 2nd, 2011

A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 aircraft has part of its fuselage tear apart at 36,000 feet with 118 people onboard. You’re aboard this aircraft and it is attempting to make an emergency landing. Question: what are your thoughts?

Source: AP

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12 Answers

jca's avatar

I am not very religious but I think I would pray.

WasCy's avatar

Which scenario are you positing here? “A hole erupts” or “fuselage tears apart”?

If a hole of no more than a couple of square feet or less “erupted”, then it wouldn’t be an impossible thing to position something over the hole to prevent the immediate loss of cabin pressure and air and enable continued flight. Even “a person” positioning himself over the hole could prevent the loss of pressure. (Since there isn’t a negative pressure or vacuum where planes fly, you’re not going to be ‘sucked out’ of a hole. The positive air pressure in the cabin tends to ‘push’ things outward.)

But if a fuselage “tears apart” then the entire structural integrity of the plane is compromised. If the wings can’t stay level and hold the engines in place, or if the plane’s control systems are damaged, then there isn’t a whole lot of hope for anyone to survive.

If a “large hole” opens up, but it doesn’t wreck the plane’s control or flight systems, then it is possible to simply stay belted in the seats, endure as well as possible the buffeting that will result from outside air entering the cabin at high speed, and have the pilot immediately reduce altitude to a “survivable” level (most likely below 20,000 feet). If the pilot can reduce altitude by 16,000 feet and keep the plane from continuing to fall apart, then it’s possible to survive at least until the landing attempt – which may reveal that the plane was even more seriously damaged than first thought.

So even without emergency oxygen to the passengers (it’s pretty much a sine qua non on the flight deck), if the pilot can reduce altitude by 16,000 feet in two minutes or less and still retain flight control, then the passengers have a fighting chance.

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thorninmud's avatar

Seat cushions =====> Hole

Blankets =====> Urine

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

For the love of God, please don’t have us land on The Island!! I am not in the mood to fight the smoke monster.

PhiNotPi's avatar

Well, there’s not much I can do in any of these situations. If a hole opens up, I would have to put on my oxygen mask and hope that we are able to land.

But if the fuselage tears apart, then I’m pretty much a dead man at that altitude. In fact, any event that could rip the plane in half would have probably already killed me.

mazingerz88's avatar

I would switch to instant denial and escape by fantasizing I brought my IronMan portable Mark IV ? armor, put it on while winking to a sexy blonde passenger and fix the problem.

ragingloli's avatar

I would make a message to the passengers, reading “put a sock in it!”
then i would land at the nearest airport

Lightlyseared's avatar

We should ban all air travel imediately. It is obviously not safe.

ucme's avatar

Shit bricks?

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I had a pilot last summer fake a call into the airport with a report of engine failure.
My life flashed before my eyes. XD
Funny thing was, I accepted whatever was going to happen pretty quickly.I had no choice

mazingerz88's avatar

Very interesting coincidence, this question and this recent news…

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