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Pilot of Southwest flight with blown engine was Navy fighter

April 18, 2018

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Southwest Airlines pilot who made an emergency landing after the jet apparently blew an engine and lost a window is a former Navy fighter pilot being praised for helping prevent a worse tragedy.

Tammie Jo Shults was at the controls of the Dallas-bound Flight 1380 when it made an emergency landing in Philadelphia, according to her husband, Dean Shults, also a Southwest pilot. The twin-engine Boeing 737 that left New York with 149 people board was hit by shrapnel that smashed a window and damaged the fuselage, killing a passenger and injuring seven others.

The pilot took the plane into a rapid descent as passengers using oxygen masks that dropped from the ceiling braced for impact.

Friends at Shults’s alma mater, MidAmerica Nazarene, say she was among the first female fighter pilots in the U.S. military. Passengers lauded her “nerves of steel.”

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