For those jittery first-time flyers and who feel like each flight is their first flight, traveling by plane can be a nerve-wracking experience that is hard to deal with. Superstitions, some customs, and repeating certain actions before flights can make one feel at ease, but, in some cases, at what cost?
A flight that was scheduled to fly 148 passengers from Weifang in Shandong province to Haikou in China was canceled after a man, identified with the last name Wang, threw coins into the engine of the aircraft "for good luck," per an airline statement shared on Chinese microblogging site Weibo as reported by IFLScience.
Thankfully, the coins, which were wrapped in red paper, were spotted on the tarmac by the runway workers during the pre-takeoff inspection. If gone unnoticed, this could have had serious consequences since the coins could damage the engine, risking the whole flight.
The crew was alerted of the danger, and accordingly, the passengers were instructed to get out of the plane due to safety concerns. The flight was postponed and the passengers had to wait for another flight until the next morning.
The man, who admitted to throwing six coins into the engine, was detained by police.
After thorough checks, all of the six coins were successfully recovered.
Proving that common sense is not really "common", this is not the first time something like this has happened. Back in January 2020, another passenger was ordered to pay $17,200 after doing the same thing to bring the whole flight "good luck" in February 2019.
What happens when something gets in the engine?
To make the danger of the situation more clear, let's look at what happens if a bird strikes an engine.
While most often not, poor birds are the ones who get the most damage; a bird strike can cause jet engine ingestion which is extremely serious because of the rotation speed of the engine fan and engine design. When the strike happens, a blade can be displaced into another blade and this can repeat until a cascading failure.
During take-off and landing, the aircraft may not be able to recover in time depending on the damage which makes bird strikes a big problem. In order to combat it, there are actually annual bird-strike conferences and countries that have bird-strike task forces.
With the skies becoming all the more crowded each day with people flying via jetpacks, flying taxis, and drones, it looks like we will need strict regulations soon. In the meantime, making people completely aware that they can't throw anything into the engine will do.
You can also watch below what would happen if a drone got sucked into a jet engine: