SeaKingTacco said:Don't get me wrong- it is very unhealthy to "bust caps" in a thin walled metal tube at 35,000 feet, doing 500 mph. I just don't buy that the airplane necessarily stops flying with a 9mm sized hole in the fuselage.
When the earth was still,cooling (and I was on Nav Training) we used to do Celestial Navigation. That meant mounting the sextant in an airlock that protruded thru the skin of the aircraft. Reasonably often enough, during act of mounting or dismounting the sextant at altitude, one could bypass the airlock feature and the cabin would begin venting through a hole maybe 2-3cm in diameter. It was a bit noisy, like standing next to a giant vacuum cleaner, and your ears popped a bit, but that was about all that happened.
I'm pretty sure I did Nav training before you... I was the fourth course on the CT-142.
Urban legend has it that the Hercs used to carry a vacuum cleaner hose to plug into the sextant mount and clean up the cockpit when they were bored. As the legend goes a stop was put to it when they realized they were abrading the leading edge of the tail plane with whatever garbage they were sucking out...
But yes, it seems a lot of people (probably based on Hollywood) equate a little hole in tn the fuselage with a structural failure.
I did a really quick look at the NTSB database at https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/index.aspx Searching for decompression I got 72 results; given that we don't here about them all I would assume most of them are not "dramatic." A random pick of two 737 ones gives no injuries in 131 on board (https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/ReportGeneratorFile.ashx?EventID=20090714X83900&AKey=1&RType=HTML&IType=FA) and 1 minor injury in 122 on board (https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/ReportGeneratorFile.ashx?EventID=20110401X24330&AKey=1&RType=HTML&IType=MA). However, these were structural failures from manufacturing and maintenance errors resulting in holes 18X12" and 60X8"; given that, I would believe that a tiny hole from a bullet wouldn't even result in a rapid decompression, and that the skin wouldn't tear, unless it hit a critical structural piece or system.
For comparison, here is an example of a structural failure which Hollywood wants to make every little hole into: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/ReportGeneratorFile.ashx?EventID=20001213X25439&AKey=1&RType=HTML&IType=MA with the full report with pictures at http://libraryonline.erau.edu/online-full-text/ntsb/aircraft-accident-reports/AAR89-03.pdf. Google "Aloha Airlines Flight 243" for more and in color. Again caused by maintenance technique.
</Sarcasm> Lesson is I'd be more afraid of the tech's drinking at the hotel before working on the aircraft then the TASO drinking at the hotel before carrying his gun. </End Sarcasm>