It's physically impossible to open a cabin door while a plane is in flight. But that doesn't stop people from trying to do it.
Last year, an Alaska Airlines flight had to make an emergency landing in Minneapolis because a passenger tried (unsuccessfully) to open a door. There was another emergency landing this June when a woman pulled the same stunt on a Southwest flight. And just last month, a Delta flight attendant hit a 23-year-old man over the head with a wine bottle because he was trying to open an exit door on a flight to Beijing.
Now a new video has surfaced this weekend that claims to show a man being booted from a flight to Minneapolis for the same behavior.
"This guy tried to open the door on our flight to Minneapolis from LAX 8/19/17 American Airlines," the video's description says.
The clip shows multiple officers removing a man who cooperates calmly. A few people are seen recording the incident on their cell phones.
GoMN reached out to the Minneapolis airport and American Airlines for details on what happened. We'll update this post when we hear back.
A spokesman for the airport confirmed to City Pages that an incident occurred on a Los Angeles to Minneapolis flight, and said the incident is under investigation by the local FBI office. The man was not identified.
Why it's not possible
There's a pretty simple explanation for why you can't open any cabin door while an airplane is in flight: science.
National Geographic explains that it goes against the laws of physics. Airplanes have pressurized cabins – the inside is at a higher pressure than the outside, forcing the door outward against the seal.
In order to open the door, you have to pull it inward. And because of the difference in air pressure, no human would have the strength to do that – it would be like trying to pull about a thousand pounds.
What about D.B. Cooper (the guy who famously hijacked a plane in the early 1970s, and escaped by jumping out with a parachute), you might ask?
NatGeo says Cooper had the pilot depressurize the plane.
And since that time, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has mandated that manufacturers disable the doors at the back of airplanes. (The back door is the one Cooper used – jumping from a side door would probably mean hitting the plane's wing or engine.)
They have a "D.B. Cooper Switch" that disables or locks those doors when the landing gear is up, the magazine says.