Chucking a handful of coins into a jet engine is no way to guarantee that fortune will smile on your flight, an elderly passenger at Shanghai Pudong International Airport discovered Tuesday. Police say the 80-year-old woman threw coins into the engine "for good luck" as she prepared to board the flight to Guangzhou, the BBC reports. The woman, who was traveling with family members including her husband, daughter, and son-in-law, was taken away for questioning after the incident, which delayed the flight for five hours while the engine was inspected.
Passengers alerted flight crew to the woman's behavior after she was seen throwing the coins from a boarding staircase, reports the South China Morning Post. "The involved passenger, surnamed Qiu, said she threw the coins to pray for safety," police said in a statement. "According to Qiu's neighbor, Qiu believes in Buddhism." China Southern Airlines said only one of the nine coins the woman threw made it into the engine, but that would have been enough to cause technical problems and even possible engine failure. (This flight had to return to Australia after it started shaking "like a washing machine.")