By Red Pill  |  04-18-2018   News
Photo credit: Heavy.com

Members of America's armed forces always deserve respect for being heroes to this country, and now a Navy Veteran pilot is being credited as a hero for her calm demeanor during the Southwest Airlines emergency yesterday which cost one American her life.

Tammie Jo Shults was a Navy fighter pilot prior to joining Southwest Airlines as a leading pilot in America's airspace, and both passengers and crew members from Southwest have said that without Shults they may not be here today, after yesterday's devastating engine failure aboard Southwest Airlines Flight 1830.

The Southwest jet took off from LaGuardia Airport at 10:27 AM on Tuesday, with a total of 144 passengers and five Southwest crew members on board, which seemed as if it would be a typical flight into Dallas, Texas.

Little did the Southwest crew or the passengers aboard the Boeing 737 jet know, but their lives were about to threatened by an impending life or death situation.

After around twenty minutes in the air, a loud boom was heard coming from outside the plane mid-flight, and the plane began to rattle and shake as if it were going to rip apart, according to passengers.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Frightening video shows passengers wearing oxygen masks as Southwest jet prepares to make emergency landing in Philadelphia. Engine blew at 30,000 feet ! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SouthWestAir?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SouthWestAir</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Flight1380?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Flight1380</a> LaGuardia to Love 144 passengers ~ 1 death so far <br> <a href="https://t.co/JnuJg5zGz6">pic.twitter.com/JnuJg5zGz6</a></p>&mdash; TrumpsBlonde™️ He’s Got This #TrustTrump‼️ (@TrumpsBlonde) <a href="https://twitter.com/TrumpsBlonde/status/986324671770578944?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 17, 2018</a></blockquote>

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According to investigators, the left engine broke and exploded during the flight, sending debris and objects towards the body of the plane at extreme speeds.

One of those objects came crashing into a window directly above the plane's left wing, shattering it instantly.

A passenger aboard the plane, Marty Martinez, told<a href="https://www-m.cnn.com/2018/04/18/us/southwest-emergency-landing/index.html"> CNN </a>that panic ensued amongst everyone who was on the plane.

"About five seconds later, all the oxygen masks deployed," he said. "I immediately knew something was wrong. It just didn't register what could have been."

This created a deadly situation, with a vacuum of immense force sucking everything from within the plane out through the window, and unfortunately, one of the passengers aboard would be pulled towards the window as well.

Passengers raced to try and save her, as the plane descended from its 32,000 feet-in-the-air altitudes.

"The plane dropped immediately," said Matt Tranchin, who was sitting three rows behind the broken window. "Plane smelled like smoke. Ash was all around us."

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">SO CALM! Listen to how the pilot of Southwest Flight 1380 calmly describes the fact that part of her plane is missing. <br><br>More: <a href="https://t.co/YslYmLHiUV">https://t.co/YslYmLHiUV</a> <a href="https://t.co/9ugrBsWeLZ">pic.twitter.com/9ugrBsWeLZ</a></p>&mdash; WSVN 7 News (@wsvn) <a href="https://twitter.com/wsvn/status/986299286907424768?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 17, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Despite the best efforts of the valiant passengers, Jennifer Riordan, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, would be sucked through the window, with all but her waist hanging outside, and a loud “pop” was heard as the pressure and the force of the vacuum literally snapped the woman's body.

"You hear the pop and she was sucked out from the waist up," one passenger reported to<a href="https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Airplane-Makes-Emergency-Landing-at-Philadelphia-International-Airport-480008613.html"> NBC Philadelphia</a>. "There was blood on the windows…her arms were actually out of the airplane and her head was out of the airplane."

Another passenger onboard the terrifying flight, Eric Zilbert, said that "several heroic gentlemen" grabbed onto Riordan to secure her body back into the plane, it is covered in blood, and then they immediately performed CPR on the unconscious woman.

A nurse who happened to be on the horrific flight to Dallas, Peggy Phillips, said she tried giving CPR for twenty minutes straight. “It just wasn't going to be enough,” said Phillips.

Jennifer Riordan didn't make it.

As the plane experienced turbulence and shaking from within, passengers believed that the Boeing 737 was only moments away from tearing into pieces, ending the lives of all 149 on the flight.

That's when Navy Veteran fighter pilot, and Southwest Flight 1830 Captain Tammie Jo Shults came over the loudspeaker, ensuring the passengers that she would land the plane safely.

Shults urged anyone with medical experience to assist those who were injured, or having a panic attack, and to bond amongst each other praying for their safety.

Reassuring everyone that she would not let the flight crash, all while literally beginning a downward spiral of death from within the cabin, Shults tried to stay focused as her life, and the lives of 148 others were all in her hands.

She controlled their fate, and if she could land the plane safely, she would be a hero, but if she didn't, which at the time seemed to be the most likely scenario to those at Air Traffic Control, who diverted the plane to nearby Philadelphia International Airport, then everyone aboard would become a fatality, in a mass casualty event.

"We have a part of the aircraft missing," Tammie Jo Shults said to Air Traffic Control.

Passengers were frantic, asking if they were going to die, as smoke was billowing both into the broken window, and all around the plane as it made its downward dive towards civilization.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">SCARY MOMENTS: A video taken by a passenger from inside <a href="https://twitter.com/SouthwestAir?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SouthwestAir</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Flight1380?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Flight1380</a> making an emergency landing in Philadelphia Int’l Airport after leaving LaGuardia, New York that was en route to Dallas. (🎥 by Marty Martinez) <a href="https://t.co/mPZ8pZrz6I">pic.twitter.com/mPZ8pZrz6I</a></p>&mdash; MJ (@EMJAEEE_) <a href="https://twitter.com/EMJAEEE_/status/986295219476926464?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 17, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Air Traffic Control wanted to know if the plane was on fire. "No, it's not on fire but part of it’s missing,” Shults replied. “They said there is a hole and someone went out."

"Um, I'm sorry. You said there was a hole and somebody went out?” said the Controller. “Southwest 1380 it doesn't matter we will work it out there."

One can only imagine what exactly was racing through Shults mind at that moment.

Tammie Jo Shults was no stranger to the air, having joined the Navy I'm 1985, just two years after obtaining her bachelor's degree in biology and agribusiness from MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas.

Shults was a woman who liked to overcome the odds, becoming one of the United States of America's first female Navy fighter pilots, serving in the tactical electronics warfare squadron of VAQ-34, based in Point Mugu, California, training other pilots to respond to missile threats from the Soviet Union.

Later becoming a flight instructor for the intelligence gathering plane, the EA-6B Prowler, which jams the radio signals of enemy equipment, and later mastering the combat-ready F/A-18 jet.

In 1993, Shults transferred to the reserves, where she served honorably until 2001 when she decided to retire from the armed forces as a Lieutenant Commander, with two Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and a National Defense Service Medal awarded in her honor.

Navy spokesperson Lt. Christina Helenaleka Sears said that Shults was the "first cohort of women pilots to transition to tactical aircraft," something to pride herself on, and she wasn't going to let her accomplishments end due to a mid-air accident aboard this Southwest Airlines flight.

No, Shults was going to rescue everyone. That's exactly what she did, going from 31,684 feet to about 10,000 feet in a little more than five minutes, and telling passengers to “brace for landing, brace for landing,” just moments before safely landing the flight in Philadelphia.

"It was just all incredibly traumatic, and finally, when we came to a halt, of course, the entire crowd was in tears and people crying and we were just thankful to be alive," passenger Marty Martinez said.

Passenger Kathy Farnan said the pilot and crew were heroes and kept everyone aboard the flight as calm and safe as they could as their own lives were on the line.

"The pilot was a veteran of the Navy," Farnan said. "She was very good."

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">What a flight! Made it!! Still here!! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/southwest?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#southwest</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/flight1380?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#flight1380</a> <a href="https://t.co/Cx2mqoXVzY">pic.twitter.com/Cx2mqoXVzY</a></p>&mdash; Joe Marcus (@joeasaprap) <a href="https://twitter.com/joeasaprap/status/986277894279311360?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 17, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Shults was beyond “good,” she had just saved the lives of 148 people including herself, although the loss of Jennifer Riordan was at no fault of Shults, who if not fast-acting and focused, would have lost everyone in the plane.

"I just remember holding my husband's hand, and we just prayed and prayed and prayed," said passenger Amanda Bourman, of New York. "And the thoughts that were going through my head, of course, were about my daughters, just wanting to see them again and give them a big hug so they wouldn't grow up without parents."

The National Transportation Safety Board has now sent a team of investigators to Philadelphia to attempt to determine what went wrong, but for the passengers, having Shults piloting the flight is what went right, saving countless lives.

"She has nerves of steel. That lady, I applaud her," said Alfred Tumlinson, of Corpus Christi, Texas. "I'm going to send her a Christmas card, I'm going to tell you that, with a gift certificate for getting me on the ground. She was awesome."

"Everybody was crying and upset," said passenger Amanda Bourman. "You had a few passengers that were very strong, and they kept yelling to people, you know, 'It's OK! We're going to do this!'"

NTSB chairman Robert Sumwalt said one of the engine's fan blades was separated and missing. The blade was separated at the point where it would come into the hub and there was evidence of metal fatigue, Sumwalt said.

Flight 1830 was saved by a heroic Veteran of the armed forces, and Tammie Jo Shults deserves a medal for her calm and collective bravery.

While the loss of one is indeed tragic, Shults is a superhero, who by the grace of God was able to save countless lives.

When you see a Veteran, thank them. They may one day save your life.

Additional Sources:

http://6abc.com/southwest-engine-fails-in-midair;-victim-identified/3356147/

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2 Comment/s


Anonymous No. 23448 1524081373

The 1st thing we are taught when taking flying lessons is to never stop flying the aircraft. This is a perfect example of that 1st lesson. Its also a lot harder to freak out while working the problem.

Another perfect case in point is Sully landing on the Hudson river. He knew his chances of pulling that off were slim as it was never done before without massive causalities & injuries. And he stayed calm and collected throughout the ordeal.

Stan No. 23455 1524098974

As a former Boeing flight test engineer during the 1959 CAB certification of the 707-120, the pilot pulled off an extremely difficult recovery! Kudos to her!

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