The female commercial pilot who managed to safely land a Boeing 737 with 151 people on board, was reportedly a former Navy pilot.
As NY Post has reported, the 56-year-old Southwest Airlines pilot Tammie Jo Shults who successfully brought Flight 1380 down for an emergency landing in Philadelphia, was one of the first women who flew a F/A-18 fighter jet when she served in the Navy.
Shults made the news on April 17, when an engine of the commercial plane she was piloting exploded mid-air and shrapnel from it breached the cabin, causing it to depressurize and unfolding chaos among the passengers.
The woman who is now considered a heroine, allegedly never lose her calm and drew upon her military training and experience landing the plane with only one fatal casualty. F-16.net, an online pilot’s forum reviewed Shults’ extraordinary performance during service.
‘She landed her fighter plane on boats at 150 miles per hour and eventually became an instructor,’ an article from the forum written back in 2006 reads.
'A huge thank you to the Southwest Crew & Pilot Tammie Jo Shults for their knowledge and bravery under these circumstances. God bless each one of them,' wrote passenger Diana McBride Self on Facebook the day of the accident.
Many passengers of the troubled flight took to social media to share their accounts on the incident and to thank Shults for her heroic actions.
‘The pilot, Tammy Jo was so amazing! She landed us safely in Philly,’ wrote Instagram user Amanda Bourman.
Shults graduated from MidAmerica Nazarene University in Kansas in 1983. After that, she joined the U.S. Navy to become one of its first female fighter pilots, according to The Kansas City Star.
The talented pilot lives with her husband, Dean Marcus, also a pilot, and the two share two children named Sydney and Marshall, as Heavy.com reported.