June 22, 2018

Everything you need to know about Tammie Jo Shults, the Southwest pilot

20 April 2018, 01:04 | Simon Arnold

Everything you need to know about Tammie Jo Shults, the Southwest pilot

Still the Safest Way to Travel

A viral audio recording of the emergency communications between Shults and Air Traffic Control displayed how she remained remarkably cool under pressure.

It's hard to listen to the taped cockpit conversations from Southwest flight 1380 and not be impressed by the demeanor of Southwest pilot Tammie Jo Shults. "Yeah, we have a part of the aircraft missing, so we're going to need to slow down a bit", Capt. Shults said.

Shults later asked for medical personnel to meet the plane on the runway to help injured passengers. We have injured passengers'. But part of it is missing.

On Wednesday night, Shults and First Officer Darren Ellisor said they have heavy hearts after what happened but said they simply went about their jobs.

While Shults was largely unaware of what exactly unfolded in the cabin of the aircraft she was piloting, she was not far off.

On Tuesday, a Dallas-bound Boeing 737-700 was in dire straits after it departed from New York City's LaGuardia Airport, blew an engine and lost a window - at approximately 32,500 feet.

One other passenger, Alfred Tumlinson, was direct in his compliments.

But who is the Southwest Airlines pilot being hailed as a hero? This is what she credits as starting her love of aviation.

Shults was among the first female fighter pilots in the USA military, according to friends and the alumni group at Shults' alma mater, MidAmerica Nazarene. She graduated in 1983. "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".

"I mustered up the courage to assure him I was not and that I was interested in flying", she wrote in a passage for the book. "Tammie Jo added that after watching the planes go by for years she 'just had to fly".

During training, she still had to overcome the military's bias against female pilots.

She said the paths are similar for other industries and working conditions are no more a roadblock in aviation. That woman, a mother-of-two, later died.

She waved off the accolades, saying it sometimes was easier to be the pilot in such a situation than to be a passenger. She taught her students how to fly the Navy T-2 trainer.

In her Navy career, Shults served in the now-defunct VAQ-34 Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron in Point Mugu, Calif., as an instructor pilot flying the F/A-18 Hornet and the EA-6B Prowler.

Tammie Jo spent a decade in the military. She was commissioned in June 1985 and served on active duty until March 2003, according to her official personnel record, provided by the Navy. She and her husband both now fly for Southwest Airlines. "People who live nearby say they were stunned when they learned that those were fragments from the Southwest plane".

"It sounded just like her". "My brother says she's the best pilot he knows".

It doesn't take much reading between the lines to know that a parallel story hook in these reports is that it is somehow remarkable that a woman was involved in resolving this emergency, but my reaction is the same. Get the scoop below. A piece hit and broke a window, which almost sucked a passenger through it. Although she wasn't sucked out of the plane, she did suffer fatal head injuries as a result of the incident.

US transportation Secretary Elaine Chao extended her sympathies to the loved ones of the passenger who died, Jennifer Riordan, of New Mexico, and praised the pilot, crew and others who were on board. She resided in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Still, "there did not seem to be a demand for women pilots", she writes.

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