For luck’s sake: coins tossed in engine delay flight

© Zhenya Fan |

A passenger flight in China was delayed for nearly six hours after an elderly woman threw coins into its jet engine for good luck.

The woman, named by China’s Xinhua news agency as an 80-year-old Ms Qiu, threw coins into the engine while boarding flight CM380 operated by China Southern Airlines yesterday. Other passengers spotted her behaviour and alerted the crew.

The 12.40 pm flight, from Shanghai Pudong International Airport to Guangzhou Province, was delayed for more than five hours while the airline inspected the engine. It took off at 6:16 pm.

Police later found nine coins at the site, including one in the engine, Xinhua reported. Their total value was about A$0.40, Shanghai Daily reported. There was no report of damage to the aircraft. Xinhua said Ms Qiu had been cleared of mental illness and had no criminal record.


  1. Dare I say …. I like the amusing pun “inference” in the title: with a common expletive used nowadays… but quite understandable and not a surprising incident from this ancient and wise culture, and its octogenarian born in the 1930’s!

    • Sorry Louis but the ‘wisdom’ is completely missing from this action. My mother is an Octogenarian with no engineering or aviation experience apart from a passenger flight or two in her younger days and I’m certain she knows how stupid and dangerous this is.

  2. Mark I do hope you get a bit more wisdom as you get older, there are different cultures in the world with totally different concepts of the world it may have been her first contact with an aircraft. For example during WW2 aircraft flew freight into remote airstrips the local natives benefited from this, after wars end the freight aircraft stopped so the natives built bamboo replicas to attract the freight aircraft this became know as cargo cult mentality [still practiced by some Australian municipal councils] so if you fly aircraft beware as there are people who will push on control surfaces, walk into spinning propellers, smoke while fuelling etc.

  3. I have never had the problem of my passengers throwing money into the engines of the aircraft that I am piloting. Most of them are so mean and tight with their money that they are reluctant to pay as they think that they are doing me a favour when they come flying with me.
    Guess what, I will fly with an empty seat.

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