Female Pilot Hailed as Hero in Southwest Tragedy

Former Navy fighter pilot Tammie Jo Shults is being hailed as a hero for her calm, commanding display of bravery as she safely landed a Southwest Airlines jet on Tuesday after it blew an engine at 30,000 feet. "She has nerves of steel," passenger Alfred Tumlinson told the AP. "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." Fellow passenger Diana McBride Self wrote on Facebook that Shults "came back to speak to each of us personally," calling her "a true American hero." Meanwhile, audio of Shults' radio transmission during the crisis--which claimed the life of one passenger while injuring seven others--is going viral online. Her mother-in-law Virginia Shults told The Washington Post about the clip, "It was just as if she and I were sitting here talking. She’s a very calming person."

Here is the audio of the entire thing below.

Ty Bailey

Ty Bailey

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