Tesla vs. Plane — No Contest. Tesla Model X – 1, Cessna – 0.

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Oneil Kurup was driving on a street near an airport in Sugar Land, Texas, on Wednesday when something unusual happened. A single-engine Cessna aircraft crashed into his Tesla Model X. Kurup and his passenger escaped the wrecked car without a scratch on them. After he got over his shock, Kurup told about his experience on Facebook in a post that was later republished on Twitter by primadanna.

According to local TV station KPRC, the plane was on a training mission for the Drug Enforcement Agency when it developed a mechanical problem and was forced to make an emergency landing. The pilot was unable to get back to the airport and chose to land the plane on nearby Voss Road, which is near Highway 6. There were three people on board. One of the passengers was injured and taken to the hospital for treatment.

“The plane had some mechanical difficulties, and they had to do an emergency landing,” Wendell Campbell, a DEA Houston Division special agent, told Business Insider. The Cessna was heavily damaged, with the tail section nearly severed from the rest of the airplane. Kurup’s white Tesla Model X suffered damage to the left front ahead of the driver’s door. Both falcon-wing doors continued to operate normally after the crash. After primadanna’s tweet, Tesla CEO Elon Musk posted his own tweet, which said,  “Wow, glad they’re ok!”

“Imagine you’re just driving down Voss Road in Fort Bend County and all the sudden an aircraft strikes your vehicle,” Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls told the Houston Chronicle. “That would be enough to put me in cardiac arrest. We are very fortunate that this was not much more catastrophic than what it was,” he said.

Dhuha Bazzaz, who lives near the crash site, told the Chronicle her neighbors thought the sound of the crash was like a lightning strike. “It’s a horrible thing. It landed during school time, the are kids around,” Bazzaz said. “People are out of their home at that time. It’s rush-hour.” The Cessna hit a few other cars when it crash landed and downed some power lines, knocking out electricity to the neighborhood. Crews quickly restored power to the area. There were no injuries reported to anyone other than one passenger aboard the stricken airplane.

We at CleanTechnica have not yet been able to perform a rigorous, official, scientific examination of the test site in order to determine whether the Model X performed better than average in this situation. (Is there an “average” to compare to?) However, we do know that our report The EV Safety Advantage shows the Model X is the safest mass production SUV in the USA and electric vehicles in general have several notable safety advantage over gasoline vehicles. For more details on that matter (we encourage it), download that free report today and share it with friends, city councilors, and your humble representatives in Congress.

At the end of the day, we don’t know if the large crumple zone or low center of gravity of the Model X had any hand in protecting its passengers in the plane vs. Tesla crash, but it’s clear the owners feel thankful and relieved that they were in the safest SUV on the road and will be in the future if something worse comes along. Better to wonder if the vehicle protected you than know that it didn’t.


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Steve Hanley

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." You can follow him on Substack and LinkedIn but not on Fakebook or any social media platforms controlled by narcissistic yahoos.

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