by Elizabeth Chuck and Shamar Walters
Navy pilot Tammie Jo Shults in a photo from the 1990s. Courtesy of Linda MaloneyThe pilot who coolly landed a Southwest Airlines plane after one of the jet's engines failed and torpedoed shrapnel through a window midflight has gone against the odds before.
Identified by The Associated Press as Tammie Jo Shults, she wasted no time steering the plane into a rapid descent toward safety when chaos broke out shortly after takeoff from New York — maintaining her composure even as passengers reported from the cabin that a woman had been partially sucked out of a shattered window.
“We have part of the aircraft missing, so we’re going to need to slow down a bit,” she’s heard calmly telling air traffic controllers in audio transmissions after reporting the aircraft's engine failure.
“Could you have medical meet us there on the runway as well? We’ve got injured passengers,” Shults then requests.
A air traffic controller asks her if her plane is on fire, to which Shults calmly replies: “No, it’s not on fire, but part of it’s missing. They said there’s a hole, and — uh — someone went out.”
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