Hero Pilot Who Landed Southwest Plane After Engine Exploded Has A Badass History

With 149 people on board a plummeting plane and an engine exploding mid-flight, a pilot and former fighter pilot remained calm and handled the situation like a champ.

“Southwest 1380, we’re single engine. We have part of the aircraft missing, so we’re going to need to slow down a bit. We’ve got injured passengers” she said in a calm tone, before requesting medical personnel meet her on the runway once she landed in Philadelphia. 

The accident happened on Tuesday, and ended in one death. But, a lot of people insist that had it not been for Pilot Tammie Jo Shults, there might have been a ton of additional fatalities. The engine exploded and blasted sharp pieces into the plane. One of these pieces forced a window out of the aircraft and one woman, Jennifer Riordan, was being sucked out. Passengers attempted to save the woman, pulling her back into the plane, but she eventually died from the tragic incident. 

Shults avoided additional death and disaster and made an emergency landing at the Philadelphia International Airport. One passenger said that she had “nerves of steel” while another gave thanks to the pilot for “guidance and bravery in a traumatic situation” and speaking to each of the passengers, one by one after landing. 

People are shining a spotlight on Shults, as she managed to remain calm, cool, and collected during the situation:

Things could have been a lot worse had she not successfully made an emergency landing, and remained calm and centered.

Passengers and their families praised the pilot for ensuring a safe landing as soon as possible:

Twitter is applauding and calling her a hero:

Southwest did not release the name of the pilot along with the news, but passengers along with her family members confirmed it was Shults.

Some claim that she is only receiving attention because she is a woman. 

But, others are praising the pilot and calling her a hero for her actions – and gender has nothing to do with it:

Then again, no one should be surprised that she handled the accident as well as she did. Shults is a trained fighter pilot!

She was amongst the first female fighter pilots for the United States Navy. On top of that, she was also one of the first woman to ever fly an F/A-18 Hornet. Before becoming a part of the U.S. Navy, Shults applied for the Air Force. She was denied because she was a woman, and once she asked about applying to be an aviation officer candidate, she was told that she could, but “there did not seem to be a demand for women pilots.”

Shults broke through several barriers to become the accredited, skilled pilot that she is now. With those breakthroughs came a lot of training, especially on predicaments she might face as a fighter pilot – and she no doubt used those trainings in this dire situation. 

Glass ceiling-shattering, well-trained fighter pilot, and total badass? Pretty much:

Tammie Joe Shults is a name that won’t soon be forgotten:

Saving as many lives as possible, and acting as a leading, brave, and intelligent example for all pilots. You go, Tammie! Superwoman, who?

Prayers go out to Jennifer Riordan, her family, and those affected. 

H / T – Twitter, The Washington Post