Capt. Tammie Jo Shults, a former fighter pilot with the Navy landed a plane safely with 148 people on board after the engine burst mid-air. The engine of a Southwest Airline Boeing 737 burst mid-air, shattering a window and resulting in the death of a woman who was partially sucked out of the broken window. Seven others were injured.
Flight 1380 was en route from New York City’s LaGuardia International Airport to Dallas Love Field when the engine burst and they had to make an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport, reported CNN. The plane was carrying 144 passengers.
The Southwest Asia flight took off from New York’s LaGuardia International airport. Just sometime after the flight took off the engine burst. The shrapnel from the burst hit the window and the woman sitting there was partially sucked out of the plane. The woman — identified as Jennifer Riordan of Albuquerque, New Mexico — died later at a hospital.
Riordan died from blunt impact trauma to the head, neck and torso, a spokesman for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health said, reported CNN.
With oxygen masks down and one person dead, there was panic amongst passengers as the height of the plane dropped immediately after the incident. But it was the pilot who was successful in calming the nerve of the other passengers. In the midst of the chaos, she successfully landed the plane in the runway with 148 people on board.
Capt. Tammie Jo Shults landed the plane safely even with the whole thing falling apart. “We have part of the aircraft missing, so we’re going to need to slow down a bit.” She immediately asked for the medical assistant to meet her on the runway to cater to the seven injured passengers. “We’ve got injured passengers.”
“Injured passengers, OK, and is your aeroplane physically on fire?” asked the air traffic controller, according to an audio of the interaction.
“No, it’s not on fire, but part of it’s missing,” Shults said, pausing for a moment. “They said there’s a hole, and, uh, someone went out.”
Passengers said that Tammie’s calming voice helped passengers to maintain their composure. “She has nerves of steel,” said passenger Alfred Tumlinson.
ABC News reported that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the engine failure. Boeing also said that they will provide technical help in the investigation. They have asked witnesses with videos or images to contact the agency directly via email.