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Hero Southwest Pilot Says Flying Gives Her 'Opportunity to Witness for Christ'

19 Avril 2018

Passengers on board the fatal Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 have praised those who desperately tried to save the woman who was partially sucked out of the aircraft, and have called pilot Tammie Jo Shults a hero, for landing the damaged plane safely.

Seven other people were slightly injured.

Tammie Jo Shults and her husband, Dean, live in Boerne, which is about 30 miles north of San Antonio.

Passenger Marty Martinez recalled, "Everybody was going insane, and yelling and screaming".

"It was just as if she and I were sitting here talking", Virginia Shults said in the Post article. "I wouldn't let you by without a hug'".

"Southwest 1380, we're single engine", she told air traffic control. During training, she still had to overcome the military's bias against female pilots.

The pilot who suggests that the woman with her plane parked nearby should take a "pinch hitter" course so she can learn to land it.

She radioed the Philadelphia air traffic controller, calmly saying, "So we have a part of the aircraft missing so we're going to need to slow down a bit".

After landing the plane, Shults greeted every person getting off the plane.

The tragic accident claimed the life of a 43-year-old woman, Jennifer Riordan, from Albuquerque, New Mexico - a graduate of the University of New Mexico as well as a former NMBA Board member and NMBA Scholarship victor.

Tammie Jo Shults, a former fighter pilot with the U.S. Navy, pictured in the 1990s. Likely not. All they wanted was the pilot to perform flawlessly. She resided in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

"She's a formidable woman, as sharp as a tack", Shults' brother-in-law, Gary Shults, told the AP. She made a decision to go to MidAmerica Nazarene University (MNU) in Olath, Kansas to study veterinary medicine but when she attended a friend's "wings" ceremony (where a pilot gets their wings) she noticed there was a woman in his class. A passenger window smashed and a lady sitting in an adjacent seat was nearly sucked out by the air pressure.

According to an online military aviation forum, she was one of the first women to fly F-18s, landing her fighter plane on boats at 150 miles (240 kilometers) per hour before eventually becoming an instructor. When she retired in 1993, she was a Navy lieutenant commander.

In a statement late Wednesday, Shults and the other pilot on board, First Officer Darren Ellisor, said they felt like they were simply doing their jobs.

Investigators last night said metal fatigue and a missing fan blade may have caused the engine to explode.

"She's up there with Captain Sully (Sullenberger)", he added of the famous pilot who splashed down his US Airways jet on the Hudson River in 2009.

"Sully" became a national hero for his flawless splash landing in the river alongside Manhattan and successful evacuation of everyone on board. In other words, it sounds an bad lot like Shults was the right person - and the right woman - for the perilous job of safely bringing Flight 1380 in despite long odds.

Passengers said debris hit the airplane, breaking one of the windows. A huge thank you for her knowledge, guidance and bravery in a traumatic situation. She died of blunt impact trauma to her head, neck and torso, said Philadelphia health officials.

Shults seemed to always know she was meant to be in the air.

"Some people grow up around aviation".

"She experienced all the same kind of training that her peers, her male peers, did", said Tinjum.

Hero Southwest Pilot Says Flying Gives Her 'Opportunity to Witness for Christ'