Southwest Pilot Gets Praised By Passengers For Saving Their Lives

Things looked grim aboard the Southwest flight.

About 20 minutes after their flight departed from New York, passengers say they heard what sounded like explosions. The emergency from an engine failure appeared to have shattered a window on the plane. And what was most dire was that a female passenger was being sucked into the hole left by the broken glass.

In those tumultuous moments with oxygen masks dangling down the cabin and passengers screaming as they struggled to save the woman, none of the panic came through in the voice of a pilot on Southwest Airlines Flight 1380.

Tammie Jo Shults' name has not been officially released by Southwest Airlines, but passengers who were on the flight have identified her as the pilot. Many of them are praising her for how she handled the emergency Tuesday.

In air traffic control audio, a female pilot spoke calmly and slowly, describing the emergency that was unraveling more than 30,000 feet in the air -- all the while trying to land a damaged plane suffering engine failure.

Kathy Farnan, a passenger said that the crew knew what they were doing and kept everyone calm.

"The pilot was a veteran of the Navy," Farnan told CNN. "She had 32 years in -- a woman. And she was very good.

"When it was all over, the pilot came out of the cabin and hugged everyone, telling them, "You all did a great job. You did a very good job," said passenger Amy Serafini.

They not only praised her technical skills, but her professionalism after they landed.Passengers told CNN affiliate WPVI that she walked through the aisle and talked with passengers to make sure they were all right.

Another passenger, Alfred Tumlinson told WPVI: "She has nerves of steel. That lady, I applaud her. 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.

"Johnson posted a picture of the shredded engine and thanked the crew, calling them #angelsinthesky.


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