Aircraft Door Flies Open Midflight, Causing Panic Onboard – Live and Let’s Fly

Aircraft Door Flies Open Midflight, Causing Panic Onboard - Live and Let's Fly

To Russia, where a terrifying incident aboard an Antonov AN-26 sent luggage flying through the cabin and passengers scrambling for safety.

AN-26 Aircraft Door Flies Open After Takeoff, Sending Hats Flying And Passengers Panicking

In terms of land mass, Russia is the largest country in the world and across the Federation thousands of internal flights take place each day. While much western spotlight has been on the aircraft stolen from western lessors after the invasion of Ukraine, hundreds of decades-old Russian-made aircraft continue to fly each day within Russia.

Earlier this week, an IrAero Antnov AN-26 took off Magan (GYG) to Magadan (GDX) in the Siberian region of Yakutia, characterized as the coldest in the world (IrAero is a Russian domestic carrier based in Irkutsk). The 724-mile flight was scheduled for just under two hours.

Maps generated by the Great Circle Mapper / Karl L. Swartz

Shortly after takeoff, the cargo door flew off the aircraft, sending hats and other loose items flying through the cabin and out the door and nearly sucking out a man who had unfastened his seatbelt. To make matters worse, air that was -41ºC (-41.8ºF) rushed through the cabin.

The incident prompted an emergency landing from the pilots, who quickly returned to Magan, landing 15 minutes later. Miraculously, no passengers were injured.

While I have not flown the Antonov AN-26 (that trip was foiled by Cubana), I have flown the Tupolev TU-134, which like the AN-26 has a cargo area in the back of the passenger cabin that is curtained off. Bags are simply thrown in the back of the plane, rather than (or in addition to) the underbelly cargo compartment. It was the door to this area that malfunctioned and blew open in-flight.

Sergei Lidrik, a passenger onboard, explained:

“People were shocked at first. The older women were frozen hard.

“People had their hats blown off. They were afraid their luggage had fallen out too, but most of it was in the nose of the plane. The men sitting in the back of the plane were freezing cold.”

The AN-26 aircraft were produced in the USSR between 1970 and 1986, meaning even the “newest” aircraft are at least 36 years old. You can watch dramatic video from the incident here.


Flying remains an incredibly safe form of transport. To think these passengers were on a jet that may have been as old as 52 years, experienced a door blowing off mid-flight in freezing cold, and yet all survived without a scratch. That doesn’t make me more likely to fly IrAero anytime soon, though.

image: Pavel Adzhigildaev

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.