Chinese airline sues passenger who threw coins into engine for good luck

Chinese airline sues passenger who threw coins into engine for good luck
A Chinese airline is suing a passenger for causing more than $20,000 in damages after they threw coins into a plane’s engine for “good luck” and grounded the flight.

Staff for the airline, ironically named ‘Lucky Air,’ questioned passengers after finding two 1-yuan coins on the tarmac near the left engine before the domestic flight on February 17 from Anqing, in East China’s Anhui province, to Kunming in Yunnan province.

A 28-year-old passenger, identified only as ‘Lu,’ reportedly admitted to tossing the coins for “good luck” and is now being sued for disrupting the flight, which was grounded with 162 passengers onboard over safety concerns.

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The airline said the flight cancellation, which involved a full engine check and reallocation of passengers to another plane the following day, cost about 140,000 yuan ($21,000).

Lu, was taken into custody by airport police and detained for seven days. The company said in a statement that it would sue the passenger in question.

The incident caused a direct economic loss of nearly 140,000 yuan, and our company will press charges against the passenger in accordance with the law”.

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Lucky Air suffered a similar incident in 2017, when an elderly passenger threw two coins towards a plane. That same year an 80-year-old passenger threw nine coins into the engine of a China Southern Airline plane, causing more than a million yuan ($150,000) in damage.

Small change could wreak havoc in a jet. Ouyang Jie, a professor at Civil Aviation University of China, told Asia One that a coin caught in an engine could cause it to stop working midair, and offenders should be blacklisted and banned from air travel.

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