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Delta Airlines Passenger Arrested After Trying to Leave Plane 30,000 Feet Up

LAS VEGAS (CBS Las Vegas) — One man was arrested after attempting to change his travel plans midflight — by leaving the plane through an emergency exit.

Richard Joel Garber, 60, of Atlanta, Ga., was seated on board Delta Airlines Flight 1702 on Oct. 23 when he tried to open one of the cabin doors after the plane had reached cruising altitude, which for commercial flights can be anywhere above 30,000 feet.

“Mr. Garber attempted to open the emergency exit door over the wing while the aircraft was in flight,” FBI Special Agent Patrick Turner told CBS Las Vegas. “(He) was detained by fellow passengers and the aircraft returned to Las Vegas … without further incident.”

Lorie Dankers, public affairs officer for the Transportation Security Administration in Las Vegas, told CBS Las Vegas that around 1:50 p.m., they were alerted about the disruptive passenger and the pilot’s decision to return the plane to Las Vegas for Garber’s removal.

“The flight continued on to Atlanta (after he was arrested), and landed there safely at 7:05 p.m. ET,” she added.

Garber will face charges of committing a crime aboard an aircraft — specifically, interfering with a flight crew.

According to Turner, Garber was seen in front of the U.S. Federal Magistrate on Oct. 24.

Turner added, “(He) was released on his own recognizance with a condition that he does not travel by air pending a resolution to his case.”

No one was able to comment as to Garber’s motives in trying to exit the plane.

  • Gunny G

    He would have gotten a MAJOR beatdown!

    The Anti Liberal Zone on blogspot

    • zombierocket

      My question is, why didn’t he get a major beating?

      • Count Yob

        Probably because it didn’t take a major beating to detain him.

  • doing_your_job

    It’s iIMPOSSIBLE to open a cabin door in flight on an airliner. How about putting that in the story next time??

    • zombierocket

      But he TRIED. And THAT is the problem bozos.

    • zombierocket

      For all the junior engineers here in this forum… as expected, you have lost sight of the issue. The individual TRIED to open the door. THAT is the problem. Geeez I get so tired of childish bickering about who is right or wrong concerning trivial technicalities… the fact is, HE TRIED to open it. That’s the problem.

    • J3

      Actually, it depends on the make of aircraft. Read the NTSB report regarding the flight attendant killed at MIA. The aircraft had problems with the outflow valve and returned to Miami. The cabin still had pressure upon landing and the flight attendant opened L1 prematurely. I bet the bad guys already know this.

    • Kelly

      So if plane doors can’t be opened mid flight, how did D.B. Cooper open the door on the 727 and jump out?

      • David Bate

        different kind of door check the details

      • Bill

        Because he instructed the crew to descend and depressurize the cabin. Look up “Cooper Vane” to see how they “fixed” the 727 rear airstairs from being opened in flight after that.

      • DBCooper

        History says that he had the pilot fly at 10000 feet

      • Kelly

        So it is possible at a certain altitude (theoretically). Something he and the other passengers wouldn’t know as a general rule. Now that I know it isn’t really possible, I would still be terrified seeing someone messing with the door of the aircraft!

      • Billy B.

        727’s had a rear stairwell that could be lowered. Back when DB Cooper pulled his stunt, he asked the crew to fly low allowing him to lower the stairs without much difference in air pressure. Since his jump and some copy cat attempts, a small vane (moved by wind flow) was added to keep the stairs from being once the aircraft was underway.

    • Johnny Briggs

      Thank you for this comment. It saved me a lengthy internet search. I didn’t think it was possible. How could it be? It would be a terrorists best friend if it was possible.

      • zzzzz

        nuh-uh they do it in the movies all the time

    • Dan

      It is humanly impossible when the plane is at altitude. The doors over the wings are plug doors, meaning the door must be brought into the cabin to open. The pressure difference means no person could open the door.

      • Billy B.

        @Dan: Not all window exit doors have to be brought into the cabin. Depends on aircraft. Many current Boeing models have exit doors that flip outward and swing up. Either way, the doors cannot be opened once the aircraft is pressurized.

    • Jim

      Yep– they are connected to squat switches (happened after the D.B. Cooper heists in 727’s).

      • zombierocket

        How does that work then for a belly landing?

    • john

      It may be impossible to open the door at 30,000 feet, but are the other passengers going to sit calmly in their seats and watch him fiddle with the door?

      The man should be charged with attempted murder for doing such a stupid stunt.

      • Wayne

        Another one for the no fly list!

      • bumpkin

        I vote suicidal… Bet he’s disappointed! -but who cares, huh. That would surely be annoying to deal with that on flight!

      • jdmeaux

        No one has said if this guy was delusional, drunk, or mentally ill. He may have been confused or just figgiting with the door handle.

      • slobo

        It is impossible to open those doors at 30 thousand feet…or any feet…once the plane has departed.

    • SirGareth

      The exits on an aircraft push out against the pressure bulkhead. Commercial Aircraft pressurize to 8,000 feet or about 10.4 pounds per square inch.

      At 30,000 feet the air pressure is 4.0 Pounds per square inch. The difference
      between the figures is 6.4 pounds per square in pushing the door CLOSED

      Assuming the door is about 7 feet x 3 feet that’s about 21 square feet times 144 square inches per foot or a total of about 3024 square inches with 6.4 pounds on each of them holding the door closed.

      3024 square inches at 6.4 pounds per square inches means 19354 pounds (9.7 tons) holding the door shut. Its going to require about 50 Olympic weight lifters to do the job provided the mechanical interlocks allowed the door to be opened.

      • Jeff Dempsey

        It was the over wing door (got that from the 3rd paragraph), which is usually around 2’x4′, so the surface area is about 8 ft^2, so the math goes roughly 7373 pounds pushing it out, which would have to be pulled in to remove the door.

        For pics, see http://cabincrewsafety.com/info/news/2010/5/Airbus-A320-Door-&-over-wing-door-training-mock-ups-for-sale.html if it allows the link.

        SirGareth, your logic is spot on, just had the wrong door.

      • Daniel Turissini

        Good grief where do you people come from. Let me try to break it down Barny style. At high altitude, there is more air pressure INSIDE the aircraft than OUTSIDE the aircraft. This means that air wants to escape rather than come in. The DOOR to the aircraft opens INWARD. Therefore, anyone trying to PULL open the DOOR has to work against all of that air pressure that is pushing OUTWARD.


      • jeff

        Your sir, are a complete idiot. nice made up math equasions that don’t mean anything. You would make a great politician…

      • Bill

        EPIC reply! Mathematics FTW. Nicely done sir.

      • Woota Schindler

        Yes, the idiots who report these non-events never even brush your excellent explanation. A team of Clydesdales couldn’t open a door inflight.

      • Big julie

        You have it bass ackwards! There is LOWER pressure outside the aircraft and higher pressure INSIDE the aircraft. The higher pressure INSIDE the aircraft is what causes EXPLOSIVE DECOMPRESSION if an aircraft seal is breached. Get your Physics straight!!

      • Billy B.

        @Big Julie: Actually, his physics are correct. He assumes a 4.0psi outside pressure and a 10.4psi inside the cabin.

      • morecoffeplease

        Can something EXplode and DEcompress at the same time?

      • Daniel Turissini

        Julie, the point is that the door is being pushed closed by the difference in pressure, and that it needs to be pulled open against all of that pressure. Exclamation points and ALL CAPS shouting and punning aside, you’re being rather dense.

  • Hank Warren

    Useless TSA, yet another violation of our rights. Add it to the list of gov’t violations of our rights:
    They violate the 1st Amendment by placing protesters in cages, banning books like “America Deceived II” and censoring the internet.
    They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns.
    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by molesting airline passengers.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars for foreign countries.
    Impeach Obama, vote for Ron Paul.
    (Last link of Banned Book):

  • walter12

    That is one sick 60 year old FH. He needs to be placed in sme sort of padded cell for a few months.

    • Jeff Dempsey

      Or released on his own recognizance, like he was… promising not to fly unless this is resolved.

      Good grief…

  • Dan Shays

    Did he have a parachute with him?

  • JRHowosso

    But, But a bullet thru a window and everyone gets sucked out, saw it on TV once must be true……………

    • Dennis Dormady

      I’d make sure that whoever took out the window would find their backside as the plug on that leak….

      After I put on my oxygen mask, of course, per the instructions I heard at the beginning of the flight ;)

    • Rickvid in Seattle

      Alas, poor Auric, we knew him well….

    • john

      Even if the entire window is blown out, the opening is too small for a human being to be ejected from the plane.

      Still, I wouldn’t want to be on a plane and lose a window. It wouldn’t be nice.

      • David Bate

        Ever see a pressure cooker blow it’s contents thru a 1/6 hole all over the ceiling.
        I have.
        I imagine it’s a bit of the same.

      • Tom Trabert

        I am a pilot. At altitude, a human would be sucked out of a 3-4 inch opening. It would not be elegant, but trust me you would be sucked out if you were sitting next to it. After the rapid depressurization of the plane, it would be harder for large items (passengers?) to be sucked out of even a small hole.

      • Billy B.

        @John: Tell that to the divers killed in the Byford Dolphin accident. Their bodies were instantaneously ripped (literally) through a small hatch opening upon explosive decompression. In an aircraft scenario, a full-size human would be pushed through the window opening the same way a child pushes playdoh through the spaghetti maker.

  • Jimbo Limbo

    They released him. And we have people serving time for a bag of weed? People wonder what’s wrong with America? THIS is what’s wrong. “Promise you won’t do this again, OK?” Duh.

    • brian

      Congrats! You just let everyone know you are a pot smoking loser. NOBODY serves time for a bag of weed. You are just angry you can’t smoke it legally. Let me guess, you are voting for Ron Paul?

      • Fred

        Herp derp. Pot is bad, mm’kay?

        Now excuse me while I have a shot and a beer.

    • phil

      Yep. They released him. At the very least, this man should NEVER be allowed on public transportation again. The airlines should simply put this man on a no-fly list. Nooooo. That may violate his civil rights! 60 years old..or not…this man would have received a well deserved attitude adjustment if he had been a seat mate.

      • Johnakos

        so. You have the right to worship anawyy you wish. And I have to right to ask you to realize that the religion you worship may not be the right one. If you dont wish to change, tell me and I wont bring it up again unless you are dear to me and I really would like to see you in heaven after we die. The problem is that too many religions promise that you will get to heaven if you do things their way but have nothing to back that up. Mine at least lays down ways to do it. Ignoring the sins of others if they will ignore your sins isnt a way that ANY religion promises, to my knowledge.

  • Bruce McClarron

    You cannot physically open the the emergency exit door at that altitude – as there are built-in safety features!!!

  • Baachaagaloop

    The airline industry should sell even more booze on the flights or have a sad hour -I mean happy hour…..maybe he would have decided to stay on the flight instead of exit stage right. putting the whole plane and passengers in danger.

  • Poe Dee

    Either he lost everything he owened and was depressed or what happened in Vegas wasn’t staying in Vegas and he didn’t want to go home.

    • John Candy

      “You must be Owen?” I’m to take you ta’ Wichita? People train runs thru Stubbville.

  • Oldnavy

    I’m just shocked it wasn’t a guy whose name you couldn’t pronounce without sounding like you are coughing and gagging. Accchhhmed Somethingorother.

    • Rishabh

      victubepoop on October 20, 2011 id pick American Gangster this would be a good game if they ever made it you’ll start of in the eerstts as the character in the movie Frank Lucasyou start of the game at Chicago after the death of his best friend and you have to start making your empire by first getting the supply than find a way how to sell and from there your in control of how you run your mob and how you take out any competition in your way as your empire grows the more the story will continue this would be a good game

  • James Benoit

    Allauh Akbar? No? Good, just a average American azzhat/nut.

  • Eric Window


    • Mark

      @Eric Window you are correct. South African Airways Flight 295 lowered its altitude and depressurized so that some of the crew could open a side door to help exhaust smoke from a cargo fire. The flight was unfortunately doomed – poor souls – but anyone can read more about it on Wikipedia.

    • Ikebukuro

      all the right words, touched your arm at the right times, got you aalfwhy home (the bar near his place, at closing) and then to his place. He got you to leave (ostensibly after sex wrestling ? C’mon, Kate, just tell us you did him), and got you to go away for good after insisting you see his FB page.This is step by step from one of those How to Get Women websites, right? And the most important step, for those kind of guys, is getting you to leave, after the boinking.Maybe its penance for being so mean to those other loser guys .Cheers!

    • Billy B.

      @Eric: 1) Your caps lock button is broken. 2) Many modern Boeing aircraft have the exit doors open outward and up.

      • Rev. Richard

        Billy they open inward first then out, how do I know this? Former 737 and air bus pilot, here!

  • reno

    Ya , it sucked that Alien out the window in Alien 4 movie….guts and all….lol

  • Baachaagaloop

    Thanks Eric thats great to know…..but there have been so many people just loosing it at a great cost to the public at large and not to mention the crew.

  • YouDude60

    His punishment ought to be taking him up in a depressurized, empty plane and allowing him to fulfill his wish.

  • Rowdy Boots



    • jay kellogg

      ummm…he told him not to fly AFTER this incident.

    • Eka

      cmc033098 on September 19, 2011 Giving away this laptop bcuease i just got a macbook pro so theres no need for me to have it all you have to do is comment saying GATEWAY FAVORITE LIKE SUBSCRIBE THANKS FOR WATCHING! Category Film Animation

  • keith

    The passengers need to step this up a bit. This is getting a bit old. Start voting these folks off the planet.

    If you have emotional or mental health issues, perhaps you should pick an alternative means of travel where you are constantly supervised by someone who cares about your issues.

    For the rest of you, we can’t have toenail clippers since they are so very dangerous, but we can have shoelaces. If they ban shoelaces, one guy can sit on the offender while someone else stomps on the back of their neck. Only takes a second.

    I would guess you would see less of these incidents in no time.

    • http://consciencebreachingsocialamnesia.wordpress.com vehoae

      Good idea, Keith. But I’m wondering why the TSA agents who felt up the crazy passenger’s crotch allowed him to board the jet? I mean, aren’t the TSA agents supposed to be able to detect everything by either feeling or looking at passengers’ genitals? Quite frankly, I expect the passengers who restrained the man to be sued by the man they restrained, by the airline, and by bHo’s Justice Department. And considering the jurists appointed to the bench by bHo, the prospects for the restrained passenger will probably mount up into the millions. Isn’t “social justice” wonderful? Lord, come quickly.

  • Smirkster

    Was he wearing an Obama shirt?

    • Chicago Nick

      Probably another deadbeat freeloading member of Obama’s family tree that has more branches than the freaking Bank of America….

  • Chicago Nick

    I tell you one thing, they should just let these terrorists on the flights so we passengers can kick the living snot outta their Islamic madman azzzes, as Americans aren’t taking any guff in the air anymore which is good to see and leaves the cowardly terrorists to look for easier targets.

    THAT (meaning WE irate passengers) scares them 100 times more than the TSA, I’ll tell you that much.

    • Tony

      Garber is an Islamic name?

    • Jason

      The same tough American guys who are willing to have their balls cupped by some fat dude with a moustache before they board those same flights?

      • europeanmanpurse

        @ Jason
        You are actually supposed to have the intentions to fly when you get your balls cupped by another man, not just walking around the airport with no ticket fullfilling your secret dreams…..bloody eurotrash…

  • Mike

    Why doesn’t this article say anything about the fact that it’s impossible to open aircraft cabin doors at altitude due to the pressure differential? Whoever wrote this article should be fired and replaced with someone who cares.

  • jay kellog

    “But you don’t understand… There’s a MAN on the wing! A man on the wing!!”

    • ch

      LOL …. but it just looked like a man!

      • Sunny

        Hello. I’ve added the comment reply terfuae to my blog. However, the issue I’m having is on my other pages that you can create through blogger, when the comment terfuae is set to enable for them and click on “reply” it brings up a “We’re sorry, but we were unable to complete your request.” message.By any chance could you tell me what I am doing wrong? I mean it’s working properly on the main blog page. But doesn’t work properly on the other pages, for example about me, and etc.Any help with this would be highly appreciated. Thank you!!

    • sprd

      It was OBAMA

    • Fanta

      I’m so happy you weren’t hurt! That looks like rough damage (and cmploetely LOL’d at your license plate blackout with sad faces!! Too funny!). I was hit by a drunk driver TWICE! Once time my car flipped three times and was clearly totaled and the other time it wasn’t as bad but my car was totaled then too when a DD hits you (I have found) insurance companies are quick to get you off their back and cut you a check! Hopefully you will get your car looking brand stinkin’ new in no time! Keeping my fingers crossed!AND I AM LOVING YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS! Have a very great and relaxing weekend!XOXOStephanie @ Blonde Highlights recently posted..

  • Buck O'Fama

    The very attempt would guarantee a big ass beating. Sure it may be impossible to open the door but after a profoundly intense beating by all on board, I’m sure it will be quite impossible for the old fool to EVER consider this as an option again.

  • John Greco

    Huh. I would think that opening an emergency exit on a pressurized airplane would be nearly impossible. (8-9 psi x the number of square inches of the door = frickin heavy!) That said, one would hope that there’s some kind of lock in place to prevent this.

    I feel like I hear about some nut trying to do this more often than I care to.

    • ilovechuck

      Chuck Norris could rip that door off with one pinky finger

  • Skep41

    Another drunk. Why they allow alcohol on airplanes is beyond me.

    • http://ryanhawkins44.wordpress.com sgtpeppers05

      probably because sometimes people get stuck sitting next to you

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