The Chinese carrier Lucky Air has taken legal action against one of its passengers. The one who threw a coin into the engine before attempting to board his Lucky Air flight to be more precise. The passenger was sentenced to pay 120,000 yuan (£13.115) as remuneration for the caused trouble and the ensuing disruption.
Why did the passenger throw a coin into the Lucky Air engine?
The 28-year-old passenger, named Lu Chao, was just about to board his Lucky Air flight at Anqing Tianzhushan Airport in China when he got out some coins and threw them into jet’s engine. In China, many superstitious citizens believe that this act may bring good luck to their family and support them when tackling challenges that life may throw at them.
The airline was forced to cancel the flight, as it had to search for the coins in the engine so that they could be removed. An expert in the aviation industry in China explained that “regardless of size, any pieces of metal [that] fell into the engines would damage its turbine blades at high-speed rotation”. In China, tossing coins at an aircraft is illegal and punished with a fine as well as a 10-day detention sentence.
Not the first ‘good luck coin’ incident
In China, there have been more incidents like this in the past. A 23-year-old student dropped coins on the tarmac while leaving an aircraft for which she was later fined. She claimed that she did not know the act was illegal and had tossed the coins as some of her relatives were going through hardships and she thought she could help them by doing so.
Furthermore, an 80-year-old woman caused a 5-hour delay to 150 passengers due to tossing coins into the engine of a China Southern Airlines flight in Shanghai.
What problems a coin can cause for an aeroplane engine and the safety on-board
Tossing a coin at an aeroplane engine or any sort of contact of a foreign object with an aeroplane engine increases the risk of damaging the engine to the point of engine failure.
The Chinese aviation expert also claimed that “the shattered pieces could start a fire in the engine, and lead to oil pipe rupture and [the] engines to stop, endangering aviation safety. A small coin could do big damage to plane engines, especially if the coin is sucked in in mid-air and gets stuck”.
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