Seoul, South Korea
Think you always get the bad seat when taking a flight? Then spare a thought for Lee Yoon-jun.
The passenger he was sat next to on a recent Asiana Airlines flight allegedly opened the plane’s emergency door – while it was still in the air.
“I just felt the horror of death. I thought, I’m going to die. This is it, this is the end for me,” recalls Lee of his hair-raising experience on what was supposed to be a routine less-than-one-hour flight from Jeju to Daegu in South Korea last month.
“In disaster movies, everyone always seems to die when a door opens in the air. I wondered what I had done wrong in my life. It was just a fleeting moment, but I had so many thoughts,” he adds.
He’d been watching YouTube on his mobile phone when the door opened and an intense wind hit him, blowing away his hat and headphones and making it hard to breathe.
Looking up, he saw clouds where the emergency door should have been. The plane had been coming into land, but it was still 700 feet (213 meters) in the air.
To Lee, impending doom seemed certain.
Glancing across at the man sat next to him, Lee noticed that he “seemed tense” and both men were “trembling with fear.”
Footage taken from inside the Asiana Airlines plane shows the terrifying moment the door opened midair.
“When I looked down, I noticed his feet swaying in the wind,” Lee says.
Yet he did not know at this point that it was his neighbor who would later be held responsible.
Lee says he did not see the man open the door. At first he assumed there was a technical malfunction.
But once the plane’s wheels hit the ground, the man next to him appeared to try to jump from the still fast-moving plane. Lee assumed he was having a panic attack.
“While I was looking at the flight attendant, I heard the sound of someone next to me unlocking his seatbelt, I realized this person was leaning towards the emergency exit.”
Lee says he then subdued the man, helped by other passengers, as the flight attendant called for help.
It was only later that Lee realized what had really been happening.
After the plane arrived at the airport, police arrested a man in his 30s on suspicion of violating aviation security laws.
Police, who described the man as being in a bad mental…