A flight from Shanghai to Guangzhou could have experienced the same fate after an elderly woman passenger allegedly threw a handful of coins into the engine "for luck."
China Southern Airlines Flight 380 was grounded at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport after the woman caused a disruption, according to the airlines official WeChat account. The incident is under investigation.
Several passengers boarding the flight evidently saw the elderly woman throw the coins and alerted the crew.
The woman obviously doesn't understand the mechanics of how a jet engine would suck up the coins into the blades of the line of turbines as they spin at incredible speed.
Rotating at around 1,000 mph on takeoff, one coin alone would break off a blade from the first turbine as it continues to get sucked into the next turbine. Now the one coin and the one blade would then break off one additional blade each and go into the next line of blades with four metal objects being sucked into the next turbine and so on through all five or more set of turbines.
The modern jet engine wouldn't explode, but there would be extensive damage that would certainly be more than a handful of coins would cover in cost.
The passengers were boarding and saw her tossing the coins at the engine for "blessings" from the middle of the boarding staircase.
Ground staff said the woman, who looked to be about 80, was with her husband, daughter and son-in-law (who knew enough to keep his mouth shut).
An inspection by the ground crew came up with nine coins in one engine. The current whereabouts of the money is unknown.
The flight was finally given the go ahead and landed in Guangzhou without incident.
Mainland air travelers have been responsible for several safety incidents in recent years, including one Chinese passenger opening the emergency door "to get some fresh air." Beijing has responded by creating a tourist black list, with offenders banned from travel due to their gross stupidity.