Pilot Tammie Jo Shults Hailed a “Hero” After Emergency Landing

Passengers of distressed Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 are praising the heroic pilot for her bravery.

by - Posted on Apr 19, 2018

Heroic pilot Tammie Jo Shults

After a harrowing event on Southwest Airlines’ flight 1380, where a passenger was partially sucked out of a window mid-flight, the pilot who miraculously landed the plane is being praised as a hero. On April 17, Tammie Jo Shults, a former U.S. Navy pilot, was forced to make a one-engine emergency landing in Philadelphia, shortly after departing from New York, with 149 people on board on Tuesday. 

“We are single engine,” Shults is heard calmly telling air traffic controllers in audio recordings of the correspondence. “Part of it’s missing,” she says. “They said there’s a hole and someone went out.”

The engine on the plane exploded, spraying shrapnel into the aircraft midflight and blowing open a passenger window. The cabin depressurized, pulling the 43-year-old passenger sitting next to the open window. Fellow passengers pulled the mother of two back in, but she did not survive. Seven others were also injured. 

After informing air traffic controllers about the problem, Shultz arranged for emergency crews to meet the plane at its new destination.

Shults served 10 years in the Navy and reached the impressive rank of Navy lieutenant commander. She was among the first female fighter pilots and one of the first women to fly the F/A-18 Hornet in a support role. 

The passengers aboard the Dallas-bound flight claimed Shults’ bravery and poise under pressure prevented a landing that could have been far worse for the surviving 148 passengers. They also appreciated the time Shults took to check in on passengers after landing the plane. She walked through the cabin to speak to every individual and see how they were holding up. 

“She has nerves of steel. That lady, I applaud her,” passenger Alfred Tumlinson told the Associated Press. 

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