The bizarre, reoccurring episodes have sparked a discussion online as to what exactly is going through someone’s head when they decide to toss a piece of metal anywhere near a highly complex machine, especially a machine that people’s lives depend on. The coin-tossing superstition has been borrowed by the Chinese from the Western tradition of throwing coins into fountains to bring good luck, witch by the way, is much safer.
A female passenger has been detained by police for throwing six coins at a plane for good luck before take-off in China.
The 66-year-old woman was removed from the Tianjin Airlines flight after admitting to tossing the coins as she was boarding the plane at Hohhot Baita International Airport in Inner Mongolia on Tuesday, according to a statement from the airline.
All 100 passengers on flight GS6681 departing for Chifeng city were assigned onto a replacement aircraft and the plane took off following a two-hour delay. A crew member alerted security at about 7:50am after seeing the woman tossing the coins from the airstairs, Tianjin Airlines said in a statement on Tuesday.
Staff were deployed to search for the change and six 1 jiao coins were located near the aircraft on the tarmac, an airline spokesperson told MailOnline.
The woman, identified by her surname Yang, later told police that she had thrown the coins to pray for a safe flight. She had been detained by police and could face further punishment from airline authorities, the statement added.
The engine of an aircraft would be severely damaged or even destroyed if a coin is sucked into it, according to a professor at Civil Aviation University of China cited by China Daily in a previous report. ‘The engine could tremble, lose speed and even stop in mid-air if a coin were sucked into its core,’ he said. ‘That would put all the passengers on board at great risk.’
Tianjin Airlines urged passengers to comply with civil aviation laws and regulations and avoid behavior that could prove detrimental to the safety of passengers. This is not the first time a passenger has attempted to toss coins into an aircraft engine for good fortune and a safe flight.
Just two weeks ago, a 31-year-old man was caught on camera tossing three coins from the jet bridge towards the plane engine for good luck at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport in Hubei province. The man, surnamed Xia, later told police that his mother-in-law insisted that he threw coins at the aircraft to pray for a safe flight since it was his child’s first time flying. He was detained for endangering passenger safety for 10 days.
Last month, two women in their mid-20s were removed from a Lucky Air flight after they each admitted to tossing a 1 yuan coin as they were boarding a plane at Jinan Yaoqiang International Airport in Shandong province.
In February, a 28-year-old man was detained for seven days after he admitted to throwing two 1 yuan coins at another Lucky Air passenger jet in Anqing, Anhui province, causing the flight to be cancelled.
A total of 162 passengers were affected and the incident caused the airline nearly 140,000 yuan (£16,000).