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Passenger Plane Door Opens in Flight

February 19, 1985

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) _ A door of a commuter plane opened 4,000 feet over Alaska, but the co-pilot closed it by sprawling on the floor and pulling on support cables as two passengers held onto him, officials said.

The door on the Ryan Air Service passenger flight opened Sunday while the plane was flying at 4,000 feet near Aniak, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

FAA spokesman Paul Steucke said co-pilot Harry Lacy had gone to check the door on the Beechcraft 99 twin-engine plane after a cockpit warning light indicated it was open.

″When he got there, the door opened,″ Steucke said. ″Mr. Lacy laid down flat on the floor across the door, and while two passengers strapped in their seats held onto him, he pulled the door closed by pulling on the door support cables.

″The door then latched and remained operational for the rest of the flight,″ Steucke said.

FAA inspectors met the plane when it returned to Anchorage, and were working Monday to determine why the door opened, he said.

Flight 940 was on a roundtrip flight from Anchorage to Aniak and Saint Marys. Steucke said he did not know how many people were on board, but were no injuries were reported.

The incident occurred about five minutes out of Aniak, he said.

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