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BreninTW
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Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2006 5:31 pm

Technicians injured by door "popping" -- question

Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:04 am

Two things before I start:

  • Sorry for the ... unusual ... topic title, I'm stumped for a better way to phrase it.
  • This is based on a translation/precis of a news article, so details may have got lost.

So, here's the story: Last night my other half mentioned that two technicians at TPE had been injured when they tried to open a cabin door on an A330-300 that was pressurized. The pressure differential caused the door to open suddenly.

I'm skeptical about the reporting, since the cabin doors are of the plug type, so should be impossible to open while the fuselage is pressurized. Furthermore, I recall that the A330 has a safety feature where attempting to open the doors using the external handle vents pressure to equalize.

Further translation of the article added some information: The technicians had been trying to open an "electric door" (which I'm assuming means a cargo door), but were unable to. They then got a lift and tried to open the cabin door, which "popped" due to the pressurization of the aircraft, injuring the two. I asked if they meant that an escape slide had blown, but apparently that wasn't the case.

I'm still stumped as to how the door could have flown open if it's a plug-type door. Does anyone have any insights?
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Technicians injured by door "popping" -- question

Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:55 am

The main cargo doors on the 330 are not plug type. However they're not electric either. They're powered by the yellow hydraulic system. I guess "electric" might in this case mean "powered". A red light in the handle compartment indicates residual cabin pressure.

Opening of the cabin doors is "assisted" by a hydraulic damper when opened in emergency mode (i.e. for an evacuation). Otherwise operation is purely muscle driven.

Certainly at cruise flight pressure differentials, opening a cabin door is not possible. However if the pressure differential is very small I suppose it could be done. There have been injuries and deaths in the past when doors have been opened. You'd get the red light in the window but it's not nearly as visible from the outside (which is why before opening the door from outside you should check the window). The red light flashes when both engines are stopped, the slides are disarmed and the differential is more than 0.36PSI.

Then there's the question of why the aircraft was pressurized at that point. At touchdown any remaining differential is dumped at 500ft/min, and 80s after landing the outflow valves are commanded fully open.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
StereoTechque
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Re: Technicians injured by door "popping" -- question

Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:07 am

Possibility is that the technicians might be trying to open the door after a Pressurisation Check on the ground. Of course looks like all the safety precautions were not followed..
Looking California.. Feeling Minnesota.... R. I.P. Chris Cornell...
 
DL777200LR
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Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2015 12:15 am

Re: Technicians injured by door "popping" -- question

Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:14 am

StereoTechque wrote:
Possibility is that the technicians might be trying to open the door after a Pressurisation Check on the ground. Of course looks like all the safety precautions were not followed..


Leaving the APU running with the packs on with all the doors closed can sometimes lead to the plane slightly pressurizing itself. I've seen it happen on 2 separate occasions with the A333
Nothing better than the sound of a 77W GE-90 engine start.
 
hayzel777
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Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 3:18 am

Re: Technicians injured by door "popping" -- question

Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:22 pm

The technicians had plugged an A/C hose into the aircraft as they feared that the interior would get too hot during repainting. As there was no venting, they inadvertently pressurized the cabin by continuously pumping the A/C in. They did not follow proper procedure and when they had difficulty opening the L2 door, they went over to the R2 door and tried that door, which resulted in the incident. Complete failure by them to follow SOP and now they are paying with some nasty injuries.
 
Tristarsteve
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Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2005 11:04 pm

Re: Technicians injured by door "popping" -- question

Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:22 pm

I have seen it happen at ARN on an A320.
We plug in a ground heater on the nightstop aircraft to keep it warm. Normally this works OK. But this night the crew that arrived with the aircraft read their SOPs and it said that if minus degrees, close the outflow vales by pressing the ditching button. They did this, and when the heater was started in the morning, it pressurised the aircraft.
The crew walked down the jetty with the dispatcher and the L1 door was closed, and would not open. The Captain could not believe this and took over. He heaved at the door handle, and was propelled into the arms of the dispatcher who caught him. The door opened very fast.
I have approached the L1 door when the aircraft is pressurised by the heater, and it is obvious. The air is hissing out the sides of the door as the pressure is very low, and there is a poor seal. I then go down and disconnect the heater, and come back up and open the door.
After this incident I produced a briefing sheet that the crew are given on a nightstop arrival to tell them that we have a heater, and to leave the outflow valves open.
 
hayzel777
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 3:18 am

Re: Technicians injured by door "popping" -- question

Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:01 am

Image

You can see the crooked door hanging in the top left corner.

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