Another Chinese Passenger Has Thrown Coins Into An Aircraft Engine

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  • China Southern Airlines flight delayed after coins tossed into engine.
  • Coins pose a serious safety risk to jet engines – risking engine failure.
  • Previous incidents of passengers throwing coins into engines have occurred in China.

A China Southern Airlines flight was delayed by over 4 hours on Wednesday after a passenger decided to toss a few coins into the aircraft’s engine. It should go without saying: don’t throw coins into an aircraft’s engine. It’s an old (and mostly harmless) superstition that throwing coins into a well is good luck, but that thought is taken to another level when that wishing well becomes a jet engine.

An unlucky 4-hour flight delay

The incident was reported by Chinese state media and involved China Southern Airlines flight CZ8805. Flight CZ8805 is a 3-hour and 40-minute Chinese domestic flight from Sanya (Hainan Province) to Beijing. China Southern Airlines is one of the three largest Chinese airlines in the world.

The aircraft was scheduled to take off from Sanya at 10:00 am local time on March 6. But the unlucky passengers were forced to wait until around 2:16 pm for the lucky coins to be removed. The aircraft got the green light to take off only after aircraft maintenance staff conducted their safety inspections.

According to data from Flightradar24, the flight was operated by an Airbus A350-900 with Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-84 engines. The plane in question is just 1.33 years old, according to data from ch-aviation, having first flown on November 8th, 2022.

Sanya is the main city in the southern island province of Hainan (Hainan is a popular beach holiday destination for the Chinese).

The airline said coins were found during security checks, but did not specify how many were located.

In a video shared by multiple state media outlets, a flight attendant is seen questioning the passenger believed to have been responsible. The individual was asked how many coins they threw into the engine. The passenger answered, “three to five”. State media did not identify the passenger.


Photo: kislond |

State media reported that airport police took away the passenger. It is unclear what (if any) charges will be brought against the individual or how much the potential fine will be. China Southern Airlines did not reveal how many coins were found in the engines.

Don’t throw coins into engines

China Southern Airlines posted on its official Weibo account that “throwing coins at the plane poses a threat to aviation safety and will result in different levels of punishment.” They warned against “uncivilized behaviors” with flying. The video goes on to show that if throwing coins in the engine causes serious consequences, such as an aircraft accident, the penalties could even extend to death.

While aircraft engines are designed to withstand a bird strike, foreign objects pose a very serious risk to jet engines. There is the risk that the coins could cause components of the engine to fracture – and in the worst case, it can lead to total engine failure.

‘Lucky’ coins in Chinese engines

This is far from the first time passengers have tossed good-luck coins into aircraft engines to pray for a safe flight. In 2019, a Chinese airline, Lucky Air, sued an un-lucky passenger for $21,000 for throwing coins into the engine. According to CNN, police took away an elderly 80-year-old woman after throwing coins into another Chinese Southern Airlines aircraft’s engines in 2017.

Other similar incidents of passengers throwing coins at the engines or aircraft have been reported in China in October last year and 2021 involving Chinese Southern Airlines (again) and GX Airlines, respectively.

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