by Graham Pierrepoint
We all have our own little superstitions – from favorite colors, to avoiding stepping on cracks in the sidewalk – luck and fortune has been talked of for centuries, dating back in ancient tomes and through habits and slight touches to our lives that have rolled on for generations. Some of us look for lucky clover, touch wood to prevent bad luck, or even throw loose change in a fountain in the belief that good fortune will come our way. In China, it seemed that one passenger had a similar thought – but her lucky strike ended up making an entire aircraft late for departure by a whopping five hours.
An elderly lady, set to fly to Guangzhou from Shanghai, decided to break from boarding a plane with her family to make ‘blessings’ with a number of coins she had on her person. Unluckily for everyone else getting ready to travel, the lady decided that such blessings would need to be made via an engine turbine on the aircraft she was set to board – choosing to throw nine coins at the engine in what appears to have been an attempt at bringing about good fortune. Luckily, only one coin landed inside the engine of the China Southern Airlines flight – but, after staff were warned by alarmed passengers about what the lady was doing, the plane was grounded for five hours and all 150 people on board were forced to evacuate for safety reasons.
It’s thought that the lady intended to pray for safety, according to The Independent – and that her actions may have fallen in line with her alleged Buddhist beliefs. Further bad luck came her way when police were thought to have detained the coin-caster, though it isn’t clear if any further action will be taken. Airline staff were particularly concerned that even one coin could do serious damage to aircraft internals – meaning that a five-hour evacuation was the safest option to take.
The lady’s offering for luck ironically resulted in poor fortune for those on board the flight in question – but it is at least comforting that no one was hurt and that the plane did not take off before a thorough inspection had taken place. Take this as a cautionary tale – if you like to cast pennies for luck, stay away from aircraft turbines – we’re sure you won’t need to be told twice!