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Home / News / National / Strong faith guides pilot who safely landed Southwest jet

Strong faith guides pilot who safely landed Southwest jet

More details are coming out about the faith of the pilot who safely landed the Southwest airliner this week after an engine blew up.

Flight 1380 was headed from New York City to Dallas when it was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia after one of the engines blew shortly after take off.

The explosion also blew out a window which killed one passenger who was seated next to the wing of the plane and was sucked out of the jet down to her waist even while she was searing a seat belt.

Pilot Tammie Jo Shults was able to land the plane safely nearly 30 minutes later, saving the lives of the other 143 passengers onboard.

southwest pilot tommie shultsAccording to The Navy Times, Shults was a 10-year veteran to the airline. Before that she was one of the first female fighter pilots in the US Navy for F-18 fighter jets.

Shults, a Christian, was also a graduate from MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kan.

The school’s Director of Alumni Relations Kevin Garber said Shults gave a speech last spring on campus, encouraging women to “crack through in male-dominated fields.”

“She had tenacity to do something that excelled beyond the norm of what women were allowed or expected to do,” Garber said. “She pushed the limits and became what she strived for.”

In an old blog post for fighter pilots at F16.com, Shults said that sitting in the captain’s chair gave her “the opportunity to witness for Christ on almost every flight.”

Her brother-in-law, Gary Shults praised her saying, “She’s a formidable woman, as sharp as a tack. My brother says she’s the best pilot he knows. She’s a very caring, giving person who takes care of lots of people.”

Many are also saying she had “nerves of steel” and are astounded at her ability to keep her cool amid crisis.

In the audio recording between Shults and the control tower, Shults can be heard calmly explaining what went wrong.

Shults’ mother-in-law also described her as a devout Christian, telling the Washington Post that it was her faith that contributed to her calm state.

“I know God was with her, and I know she was talking to God,” Virginia Shults said. Passengers across social media continue to sing her praises, and are thanking God for his hand in the emergency.

The exact cause of the engine explosion is still under investigation. Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board released a statement saying they are taking steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“This should not happen and we want to find out why it happened so we make sure the preventative measures are put in place,” said Robert Sumwalt, NTSB Chairman.

The exact cause of the engine explosion is still under investigation. Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board released a statement saying they are taking steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“This should not happen and we want to find out why it happened so we make sure the preventative measures are put in place,” said Robert Sumwalt, NTSB Chairman.

 

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