Hey, the cockpit door popped open… twice!

This was a first for me. Flying last night from Washington to Tampa I was in seat 6B (we won’t get into why I wasn’t in 6C… *cough* hobo13 *cough*) on a 757, and everything was normal. As we began our takeoff roll, probably as we reached about 60 miles per hour, the cockpit door popped open. It took the flight attendant probably 10 seconds to realize this, at which point she jumped up to close it. I’ve gotta say, the views were spectacular, given that I could see the runway lights, cockpit lights, etc.

Channel 9 was turned off immediately, and then probably another minute later the cockpit door popped open again. This time the flight attendant jumped up immediately to close it.

A couple of minutes or so later we leveled at maybe three or four thousand feet, where we stayed for a couple of minutes. I’m not sure if that’s because air traffic control hadn’t cleared us for a higher altitude or if the pilots requested to stay there for a minute so they could figure out what to do, but fortunately we didn’t have to turn back to Washington.

Ultimately I guess I should be happy for the nice views and lack of a diversion. Though given how far “security” has gone, I’m kind of surprised we didn’t return to Washington.


  1. Happened to me years ago SFO-LAS Shuttle 737 departing 10R. We were going into rotation in bad weather and the FA waited til we leveled a little to close. From 2C a fabulous view. Pilots never blinked.

  2. As a kid once, I actually got to go up there, in flight! Those were the days. And yes, the view is amazing. I think being a commercial airplane driver would be a totally awsome job!

  3. Couple of months after 9/11, this happened on an American Eagle prop jet–the co-pilot actually reached back and closed it while we were leaving the ground. There were some very tense people on that short flight.

  4. A couple of months before 9/11 my wife spent the last 45 minutes of a flight to BOS in the jump seat, all the way through landing. She still talks about it.

  5. Happened to me on a 30 year old Star Peru 737-200. We did 2 legs and the cockpit door flung open on both takeoff rolls. Overhead lockers also popped up on the first takeoff, so as you can imagine we were kissing the ground when we landed safely 🙂

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