Published: Fri, April 20, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Former aviator from New Mexico trained hero pilot

Former aviator from New Mexico trained hero pilot

In the midst of the adulation for an emergency well handled, spare a thought for the family of the deceased and for the trauma any professional airline crew feels at losing a passenger whose life it is their duty to protect.

"Something is wrong with our plane!"

It's the same calm and conviction the nation heard, as she notified the Air Traffic Control.

Here's what happened in midair, in an excerpt of audio recordings from the site LiveATC.net.

"Our hearts are heavy", the pilots said in a statement.

Passenger Alfred Tumlinson, of Corpus Christi, Texas, lauded Shults and her crew for their professionalism.

"I think one reason is they have the wrong impression that women don't have the temperment for it", McCullough says.

Linda Maloney, a retired Navy flight officer who served with Shults, said that her former colleague was always passionate about flying and that her efforts Tuesday showed how Navy training prepared her well. "She's nerves of steel". She added, "It was just as if she and I were sitting here talking".

"Even when children are testing her limits she remains calm and quick and easy to redirect them", Escajeda said.

After the engine exploded, some of the debris broke through one of the windows, which caused the plane's cabin to depressurize and passenger Jennifer Riordan to be partially sucked out.

An investigation into the incident is underway; for now, many are marveling at the way Shults maintained the coolest head during the airliner's plight. A second pilot was on board, a first officer who hasn't been identified. Finally, she got through.

"Southwest 1380, speed is your discretion".

"Yes, Sir. We are single engine descending".

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ATC: "All right, Southwest 1380". "She would say God is helping her". "No more channel switching".

"I commend the pilots who safely landed the aircraft, and the crew and fellow passengers who provided support and care for the injured, preventing what could have been far worse". "Let me know when you want to go in". "Could you have the medical meet us there on the runway as well?" she said.

"Injured passengers, ok", replied a male voice in the control tower.

"Is your airplane physically on fire?" asks air traffic control.

"Two wonderful men. they managed to get her back inside the plane", Ms Phillips said.

Shults and Ellisor will not be giving interviews to the media at this time, the statement said. You said there was a hole and somebody went out? "Flight 1380, airport's in sight".

"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", Martinez said. "Thanks, guys, for the help".

Shults joined the Navy in 1985 and completed flight training in Pensacola, Fla. She left the Navy in 1993 with her husband.

Shults was among the first female fighter pilots in the USA military, according to friends, and flew the Navy's supersonic F/A-18 Hornet.

In Boerne, a town northwest of San Antonio, Shults and her husband Dean, 53, also a Southwest Airlines pilot, have earned a reputation as a strongly religious, community-minded couple.

Passengers on board the flight told AP that she walked the aisles after the landing to ensure everyone was okay.

"Heck no, she's a strong Christian lady", she said. Passengers praised her for calmly and safely landing the aircraft.

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