Explosive DecompressionEdit

Jamie and DC9

Jamie and the DC9 [1]

  • The Myth - Explosive decompression can occur when a bullet is fired through the fuselage of a pressurized airplane, causing the hole to grow dramatically and possibly cause the plane to break up as seen in movies such as U.S. Marshals.
  • Verdict - Busted
  • Notes - Sealing a decommissioned DC-9, seating Buster, and pressurizing it to 8psi (55kPa), the team remotely fired a 9mm pistol through the window, then the fuselage. Neither resulted in more than a 9mm (0.35in) hole, so they wired a window with detonating cord, which blows the window out, but fails to suck more than Buster's arm through. A 100grain (6.5g) shaped charge successfully caused catastrophic failure. They reviewed Aloha Airlines Flight 243, where a Boeing 737 safely landed despite an explosive decompression.

This myth was revisited in MythBusters Revisited.[2]


  1. OV Guide
  2. Explosive Decompression Episode