The elderly lady was boarding a China Southern flight from Shanghai to Guangzhou, and as she climbed the stairs into the plane tossed nine coins at the engine as thought she were making a prayer at a wishing well.
The DailyMail reports that while eight coins landed harmlessly on the tarmac, one of them stuck in the engine, causing flight staff to direct all 150 passengers off the plane until it could be retrieved.
Police detained and interrogated the 80-year-old who was travelling with her family, when police confirmed the cause of the delay:
"After investigation the involved passenger surnamed Qiu said she threw the coins to pray for safety. According to Qiu's neighbour, Qiu believes in Buddhism."
Thankfully the flight was able to go ahead, albeit delayed, to its final destination.
The story went wild on China's social media site, Weibo, with dry-witted commenters criticising the old woman: "Grandma, this is not a wish fountain with turtles."