An 80-year-old passenger who was on board with her husband, daughter and her son-in-law, was responsible for a flight delay of a Chinese airline as she threw coins into the plane’s engine for a safe journey.
Just one of the nine coins managed to enter the intended target which was enough to force a delay of several hours for the 150 passengers on board. Police were called to the Shanghai Pudong International Airport for further investigation.
“In order to make sure the flight is safe, China Southern maintenance has conducted a full examination of the plane’s engine,” China Southern Airlines said in a statement on the microblogging site Weibo.
They also tweeted a picture of the coins.
“After an investigation the involved passenger, surnamed Qiu, said she threw the coins to pray for safety. According to Qiu’s neighbour, Qiu believes in Buddhism,” the police said.
The flight finally took off after a delay of five hours. Chinese people took to the social media site Weibo for a bit of banter about the ordeal, with one user commenting: “Grandma, this is not a wish fountain with turtles.”
Patrick Smith, author of Cockpit Confidential, had written that: “There’s no greater prospect of instant calamity than switching off the engine in your car when coasting downhill. The car keeps going, and a plane will, too.”
Apparently planes do this all the time, not just when they have no other option. In fact, gliding happens on pretty much every flight.
Patrick also writes: “It’s not the least bit uncommon for jets to descend at what a pilot calls ‘flight idle’, with the engines running back to a zero-thrust condition. They’re still operating and powering crucial systems, but providing no push. You’ve been gliding many times without knowing it. It happens on just about every flight.
“Obviously an idle-thrust glide is different from the engines quitting outright, but even then, the glide itself would be no different.”