So a piece falls off and there\’s an explosive decompression.There\’s one extremely odd thing that could have caused this. Indeed, I\’ve heard (anecdotally) that it has actually happened in the past, on a Russian transport plane.
Now, no, I\’m not suggesting that this is what happened at all: it\’s just an opportunity to tell a little story from the world of weird metals.
Gallium. A low melting temperature (29 oC or so) means that in summer in the hold of a plane in certain parts of the world it will become liquid. The problem is that when liquid gallium meets the Al alloys that make up planes a hole appears in the Al.
As I say, I\’ve been told that this actually happened once in Russia, badly packed Ga leaked out, ate a hole in the plane\’s floor and left part of it sitting rather sadly on the tarmac while the rest of the plane taxied away.