An elderly woman, flying from the city of Anqing to the city of Kunming in southwestern China on Lucky Air, was detained by airport authorities after she tossed coins into the aircrafts’s engine for luck. The incident which happened on Wednesday, last week, is the second of its type this year.
The other passengers reported that the woman tossed the coins at the engine of a Lucky Air jet during boarding, and the coins were found lying on the ground next to the plane by the airport staff, according to various statements by the airline, airport authorities, and transport police.
The incident forced a thorough examination of the aircraft’s engine by engineers which caused the plane to be grounded overnight. The other passengers were forced to wait for an alternative flight at Anqing airport in the eastern China’s Anhui province.
A 76-year-old woman was subsequently taken into custody, transport police said. It is unknown if she will be charged. Lucky Air is under the Hainan Airlines group.
According to the authorities, the passengers were subsequently flown to the scheduled destination of Kunming the next morning.
In a similar event earlier this year, an 80-year-old woman while boarding the China Southern Airlines flight from Shanghai to Guangzhou tossed nine coins towards the engine, with one of the coins nestling inside.
The incident again prompted a full examination of the engine and caused a six hour delay in the flight schedule. The woman was detained but eventually spared prosecution due to her age, state media reported.
According to a theory popular in Buddhism, the act of throwing money is believed to ensure safety and bring good luck.