New Aviation Threat: Superstitious Elderly Chinese Travelers

440px-Lucky_Air_Airbus_A319-112_B-6221_(8742588573)If airlines do not have enough on their hands with Al Qaeda and changing weather patterns, it now has to face a new threat: superstitious elderly Chinese travelers.  For the second time in weeks, a flight was suspended after an elderly Chinese woman threw coins into an airplane engine for good luck . . . and engine failure.  The Lucky Air flight was fortunately halted after other understandably alarmed passengers asked for the metal debris to be removed from their engine.


In June, an 80-year-old Chinese woman stopped a China Southern Airlines flight with the same practice.

In this case, the 76-year-old woman in Anqing decided to get an added advantage on Luck.  The flight to Kunming was grounded overnight as a safety precaution and the woman was arrested. It is not known if she would be charged.

Such cases are hard in any country.  Clearly, she did not wish any harm.  To the contrary, she was trying to bring luck.  However, her superstition led to the grounding of a flight and inconvenience to many.


What do you think should be the punishment other than being forced to walk a black cat over a broken mirror under a ladder.

19 thoughts on “New Aviation Threat: Superstitious Elderly Chinese Travelers”

  1. The linked articles in Turley’s OP cite state authorities in China. The first 80-year old woman was reported to have been a devout Buddhist. No statement about the second, 76-year old woman’s religious affiliation was reported. Given the citation of state authorities in China and the reputed Buddhist devotion of the first old woman, one might otherwise regard both stories with extreme suspicion of being Communist propaganda against the purportedly superstitious nature of religion in general and Buddhism in particular.

    Or, in the interest of maximizing one’s skepticism, one might ask why Turley posted these stories about superstitious old Chinese women throwing coins into jet engines the day after he posted the story about the former FEC chairman, Ann Ravel, advocating government regulation of disinformation on the social media?

    What if The US government ends up doing counter-propaganda in more or less the same way that The PRC does regular propaganda?

    What if Turley dabbles in experimental psychology as a hobby? What if we blawg hounds are the test subjects in Turley’s psychological experiments on gullibility and the power of suggestion?

    Am I the only blawg hound paranoid enough to connect these dots?

  2. You have the same mentality here in the US with the arguments for guns, bump stocks, silencers, Sherman Tanks, etc. The backwoods mentality that equates throwing coins into the jet engine is of the same brand that comes from the bumpkin that reads half of the second amendment, interprets it as of the 18th Century, and defends unto his/her and a lot of others’ deaths the right to drape themselves in machine guns etc. These types are to be found in every society; just different iterations.

    Any takers?

    1. Isaac, the distilled essence of the confidence game has always been to invite the gull to feel good about himself or herself in the way act of looking down his or her nose at somebody else. That’s what the bumpkins meant when they said, “You can’t cheat an honest man.” The honest man or woman has no pressing need to feel good about himself or herself in the act of looking down his or her nose at superstitious old Chinese women throwing bump-stocks and silencers into jet engines–or whatever.

    2. Yeah, you’re an idiot. You think yourself so smart, but … you’re the idiot that apparently does not understand the 2nd amendment.

      And your analogy is wrong. One is a superstition, the other is not.

  3. Turley should bypass the “human interest” stories and concentrate on what is important. He must have a lot of time on his hands.

    1. “He must have a lot of time on his hands.”
      To the contrary, you might consider the amount of time required to prepare a column or in-depth article and measure that against all the other responsibilities our host has: teaching; television commentary; his family; public speaking; and at least a measure of recreation.

      Professor Turley has no obligation to provide for the entertainment or edification of any individual person who writes comments on the blog. But if you feel aggrieved, you can take notice of one of Mike Appleton’s suggestions and apply for a refund of what you have paid for our services.

  4. No punishment. If the airline company allowed passengers to get so close to the engine that coins could be tossed into it, and on top of that, allowed an open engine compartment, any inconvenience is the result of the shear stupidity of the airline company.

    1. That is remarkably ignorant. Go learn about why jet engines have a large opening in front. Also the loading location on smaller jet aircraft.

  5. When and how are these passengers gaining access to the engines of these planes? In the US, passengers are usually shuffled on-board, via a contained ramp, so how are all of these elderly, coin-throwing, Chinese seniors able to access these engines? Is this occurring inside or outside of the US? This shouldn’t be a story about some superstitious individuals grounding these planes because they threw coins into the engines. . .this story should, instead, be about the, seemingly, gaping hole in airport security, where random individuals–whether they be the elderly or the young–can access the perimeter of a passenger plane, prior to takeoff, and compromise the safety and security of the flying public. How is this still occurring in 2017?

    1. In most remote airports one boards the plane by walking across the runway and up a set of stairs. That is how passengers gain access to engines. This may be fodder for the ever ready solution minded but is simply the merging of cultures. Now that this president has been established, it can be addressed. Hind sight is the perspective of shallow.

      1. Who is talking about the most remote of airports? The article does not reference where these instances of throwing coins into engines are occurring; as such, it is a valid to question–where is this apparent breach of security transpiring? You are making some asinine assumption that these instances are happening in some remote area of the world–others do not jump to the same conclusion. Your merging of cultures bs is just that–bs.

        1. bam bam – the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, home to Allegiant Airlines, the no-frills airlines, currently have you walk across the tarmac to stairways to enter the plane. When it is 120 degrees out, it is some walk.

          BTW, The Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport is neither in Phoenix nor Mesa, it is in Gilbert. However, they thought that name was classier.

        2. Actually the article does reference where at least the most recent incident was. It happened in Anqing, China. Both incidents were on Chinese airlines.

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