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Pilot Who Landed Southwest Flight Was One of the First Women to Fly an F/A-18- seniorhelpline.info

Pilot Who Landed Southwest Flight Was One of the First Women to Fly an F/A-18

Tammie Jo Shults’ performance under pressure may have saved lives.

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When chaos struck on Southwest Flight 1380 yesterday, as an engine exploded killing one passenger and injuring seven others, the pilot at the helm who guided the plane's emergency landing was reportedly Tammie Jo Shults. It should come as no surprise she was cool and composed given her history as one of the first women to fly the F/A-18 for the U.S. Navy.

Southwest has yet to officially release Shults' name, but she has been identified as the pilot of the flight by , . Her background in the Navy is outlined by as well as , which states she joined the Navy in 1985 and rose to be a pilot who flew the F/A-18 in the Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (VAQ) 34. "In AOCS [Aviation Officer Candidate School], if you’re a woman [or different in any way], you’re a high profile; you’re under more scrutiny," she told the magazine at the time.

Cindy Foster, a classmate of Shults' at MidAmerica Nazarene University, that Shults was in fact the very first woman to fly an F/A-18 for the Navy, saying "[She] knew she had to work harder than everyone else... She did it for herself and all women fighting for a chance. ... I'm extremely proud of her. She saved a lot of lives today."

"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," passenger Alfred Tumlinson . "The lady, the crew, everything, everybody was immaculate. They were so professional in what they did to get us on the ground."

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"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," in a statement extending condolences to the family of Jennifer Riordan, the passenger who died in the incident after fellow passengers pulled her back through the window that was smashed in the engine explosion.

Without such a composed and competent pilot at the helm, things could have been much worse.

Sources: , , , ,

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