The elderly woman was detained by police at Shanghai Pudong International Airport following the bizarre incident, forcing nearly 150 passengers to be evacuated from the plane bound for Guangzhou in southern China.
The 80-year-old threw nine coins at an engine of China Southern Airlines flight CZ380 as she was boarding on the tarmac.
Eight of the coins missed their target but one nestled inside an engine, airport police said, adding that a passenger spotted her and reported it to authorities.
"A senior passenger threw coins to the plane's engine and delayed the flight. The passenger involved has been taken away by police," China Southern Airlines said in a statement on its Twitter like Weibo account.
"The plane is boarding again for takeoff."
Hundreds of thousands of Weibo users had a field day, with one commenting sarcastically: "Grandma, this is not a wish fountain with turtles." Click for more trending news