A superstitious passenger delayed a flight for over four hours after throwing coins at the plane’s engine for good luck at a Chinese airport.An elderly woman has delayed a plane for more than five hours, after she threw a handful of coins into its engine for good luck.
Bad weather, crowded skies and military drills and now coin-tossing to the growing list of reasons for China’s notorious flight delays.
The passenger was boarding China Southern Airlines flight CZ380, from Shanghai to Guangzhou, when she threw nine coins towards the plane’s jet engine.
The coins, worth about 1.7 yuan altogether, caused 150 passengers to evacuate as the airline conducted a full inspection of the plane’s engine.
Police were called to Shanghai Pudong International Airport and the elderly passenger, who had been travelling with her husband, daughter and son-in-law, was taken away for questioning.
They later confirmed the passenger, surnamed Qiu, had thrown the coins “to pray for safety” and they had been informed by a neighbour that she “believes in Buddhism”.
Ms Qiu threw nine coins into the left engine as she ascended the stairs to go into the plane in the Shanghai Pudong International Airport.
Qiu was confirmed to have no previous criminal records and no history of mental illness.
Ground staff said the woman, who appeared to be about 80 and had limited mobility, was accompanied by her husband, daughter and son-in-law.
After maintenance crew inspected the aircraft, they found nine coins in one engine.
courtesy: The Straits Times
The captain was quoted as saying the metal, if sucked up by the engine, could have caused serious damage, including failure.
The statement continued: ‘In order to make sure the flight is safe, China Southern maintenance has conducted a full exam of the plane’s engine.’
The plane was finally able to take off safely at 5:52pm local time (7:52pm AEST), more than five hours late.
China Southern Airlines reminded all passengers to comply with civil aviation laws in a post on social media site Weibo, and to avoid any behaviour that could jeopardise the safety of their fellow passengers.
Mainland air travellers have been responsible for several safety incidents in recent years, including opening emergency doors and assaulting cabin crew. Beijing has responded by creating a tourist black list, with offenders banned from travel.