The tragic accident that claimed the life of one passenger and injured seven others is still under investigation, as the nation’s thoughts and prayers are with the victims of Southwest Flight 1380. Initial findings are that an “internal fan crack” due to “metal fatigue” caused a blade to separate from the engine and smashed into the plane’s window, causing one woman to be partially sucked out of the plane. The remaining souls that were onboard the Boeing 737 are now speaking out about their ordeal and many of them are lauding the pilot, Tammie Jo Shults, who one passenger said had “nerves of steel.”
Please see below a statement from the Captain and First Officer of Flight 1380. pic.twitter.com/RjoCpucGGS
— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) April 19, 2018
Southwest Airlines did not officially release the name of the hero pilot that saved the remaining passenger and crew members, but many onboard confirmed it to be Shults, through photos, videos, and even a recording that has been released from her call to air traffic control. In the recording, Shults can be heard calm and collected as she informs the voice on the other end of the transmission that her plane had damage.
Listen To The Excerpts Of The Transmission:
One of the 149 souls aboard the aircraft (144 passengers and five crew members), Alfred Tumlinson, recalled that there was a sudden bank to the left and the plane was shaking. Tumlinson said that Shults remained calm as she came over the plane’s intercom, telling The Washington Post, “She was talking to us very calmly. ‘”We’re descending, we’re not going down, we’re descending, just stay calm, brace yourselves,’” he recalled. Tumlinson added that Shults then said, “‘Everybody keep your masks on,'” and they were instructed to brace for landing.
Look at the altitude drop of Southwest 1380 in just minutes. pic.twitter.com/7fjK6Q97SZ
— Todd Schnitt (@toddschnitt) April 17, 2018
Tumlinson, one of the most outspoken so far about the demeanor of Shults continued, saying she told her passengers, “‘Everybody, you gotta lean forward — hands up on the seat in the front, you gotta know that you’re coming down, and you’re coming down hard.’ But she didn’t slam it down. She brought the bird down very carefully.”
Shults somehow managed to manually steady the plane and touched down as gently as possible in an emergency landing at the Philadelphia International Airport, 20 minutes after the initial engine failure. Aviation experts and her passengers alike are calling her “remarkable” and “amazing,” but Shults has always been considered a talented pilot and a pioneer in female aviation.
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