t appears that Chinese travelers have still somehow not yet learned their lesson about chucking coins into plane engines because yet another person has been arrested for doing just that.
The 66-year-old woman surnamed Wang threw six coins at the engine of a Tianjin Airlines plane just before its departure from the Inner Mongolian capital of Hohhot to the city of Chifeng on Monday morning, apparently in an effort to pray for a safe trip.
Fortunately, the coins were noticed by a worker. When an announcement was made for the thrower of the coins to step forward, Wang remained seated. However, she was revealed as the culprit by surveillance footage.
Wang was then arrested. She has been placed under administrative detention for 10 days. Her fellow passengers were switched over to another plane. After a more than two hour delay, they finally took off, landing safely at their destination. Workers have recovered all six coins.
This is now at least the seventh time that this kind of thing has happened in China in the past two years. Somehow, it’s only becoming more and more frequent.
The first such incident occurred in June 2017 when an 80-year-old threw 1.7 yuan in change into the engine of a China Southern Airlines plane at the Shanghai Pudong airport to “pray for a safe flight,” thus causing a five-hour delay and 1 million yuan in damages. Despite this hefty bill, the woman was not charged with any crime due to her old age.
This was followed several months later by a 76-year-old granny flinging coins into the engine of a Lucky Air flight from the Anhui city of Anqing to Kunming. The woman was detained but appears to have never been prosecuted.
Then, at the Anqing airport in January, a China Eastern Airlines flight was delayed when workers found two coins lying on the ground near the plane’s engine. When questioned, none of the passengers fessed up to having done the flinging.
While elderly travelers may seem the most likely suspects, it appears that not only the old are superstitious when it comes to flight. In February, again at the Anqing airport, a 28-year-old male passenger was taken into custody after trying to chuck coins into the engine of a Lucky Air plane while boarding, believing that they would keep the flight safe from hazard.
Last month, yet another Lucky Air flight was delayed when two female passengers were spotted chucking coins off the airbridge before getting on their plane at the airport in Jinan. Both of the women were reported to be in their mid-twenties.
Finally, earlier this month, a 31-year-old man was arrested for throwing coins before boarding a Hainan Airlines flight at the Wuhan airport. He later explained to police that he was acting on advice from his mother-in-law who wanted to ensure the safety of his wife and the couple’s four-month-old daughter.
It remains unclear why this has suddenly become a thing or when it will ever end.