Battery catches fire on United flight, causing plane to make emergency landing in San Diego

Originally published at: Battery catches fire on United flight, causing plane to make emergency landing in San Diego | Boing Boing


Expected a Tesla angle. Disappointed.


Xkcd for everything


Give it time.



Came here to say: I didn’t realize you could fit a whole Tesla on a 737.


Not the worst disaster that could happen on a 737 Max 8, granted.


Watch a few of its Tesla-owner passengers decide to drive, rather than fly next time… and then…


External laptop battery? Don’t planes have power outlets between the seats so you don’t have to use those things?

You totally could. The horizontal payload in cargo will take enough to several cubic meters of palletized freight. They usually have to be able to be loaded on one of their large platters and strapped down.

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I mean, in pieces, yeah? But the cargo doors are only 48" wide. Maybe if you reassembled it on the inside, though… the body is wide enough in absolute terms but I’m guessing you’d have to stack the Tesla on a bunch of hard-sided luggage so that it doesn’t lean on the sides of the cargo hold.

Anyway, lithium batteries aren’t allowed in the hold, so. (And with good reason, apparently)

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I used to work in freight handling while in graduate school. The cost of shipping a car via passenger plane is cost-prohibitive enough that car companies only will do it for exhibition vehicles, and pre-production test cars. This is because the car needs to be loaded flat eating up the space that could be used for baggage. The average car is M3 or M4 which usually means that the airline cannot load as many as 6 baggage containers.

Having said this, I have never watched the planes physically get unloaded (I was only bonded to enter the runways to wait to be served). But I have dropped-off, picked up, crated, and strapped vehicles to airline pallets picked up many cars over a 7 year period. It is totally doable.


I don’t doubt that a widebody can take a plane in the hold, but every source I’ve seen gives the passenger-configured 737’s cargo door dimensions as 48x33 or less, which is just Too Small. I’m not convinced it’s doable in one piece on a narrowbody frame. (You might be able to do it in an A320-series if you take the mirrors off and put it through the door diagonally?)

Anyway, I don’t mean to singlehandedly resurrect the Pedant Pendant badge, just trying to get the Tesla digs in.

All that notwithstanding, and in the interest of keeping things closer to on-topic, here’s a legitimate question for my fellow Mutants – I wonder what is the deal with air-freighting an electric car? Can it in fact be done at all with the lithium battery restrictions that are currently in place? Do car batteries even have the same prohibition as consumer batteries?

Except the time GM did it for the entire 7 year production run of the Cadillac Allante. Why yes, this is the same GM that eventually went bankrupt.

Edit: though those were cargo 747s, not passenger configurations.

I would not be in the least surprised if the next stage of security theatre banned laptop batteries, too.

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