Southwest Pilot And Hero Tammie Jo Shults Used To Be A F-18 Fighter Pilot In The Navy

The pilot’s voice was calm yet focused as her plane descended with 149 people on board.

Southwest 1380, we’re single engine,” Tammie Jo Shults, a former fighter pilot with the U.S. Navy, said. “We have part of the aircraft missing so we’re going to need to slow down a bit.” She asked for medical personnel to meet her aircraft on the runway. “We’ve got injured passengers.”

“Injured passengers, okay, and is your airplane physically on fire?” asked a male voice on the other end, according to an air traffic recording.

“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.”

The engine on Shults’s plane had, in fact, exploded on Tuesday, spraying shrapnel into the aircraft, causing a window to be blown out and leaving one woman dead and seven other people injured. Passengers pulled the woman who later died back into the plane as she was being sucked out. Others on board the Dallas-bound flight braced for impact as oxygen masks muffled their screams.

Unreal, man. Just an unreal story. Staying calm in stressful situations is difficult when you are on the ground. When you’re the pilot of a large plane, people are screaming, and you are getting reports of people being fucking sucked out of the plane, staying calm must be damn near impossible. Somehow, someway Tammie did just that.

The people in the Washington Post perfectly describe what it’s like when someone saves your life. There’s nothing that you can do to equally repay them for their actions so you just offer up shit that doesn’t even make sense because you are flying high off the stress.

“She has nerves of steel,” one passenger, Alfred Tumlinson, told the Associated Press. “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.”

The image of Tammie cashing in on that gift card is wonderful.

Tammie pulls into the local Chilis with two of her pals. Richard, her former friend from the United States Navy who is in town for a business trip, and Nancy with the laughing face from her neighborhood join her. They all order the top shelf margaritas. It’s been 9 months since the incident happened; she’s moved passed it, and the media has stopped calling her for interviews. Richard, with a mouth full of chips and salsa says, “So Tammi. Tell us about the flight.”

Begrudgingly, she goes over all the details. Richard, impressed with her heroism, offers to pay for the meal.

“No,” says Tammie beaming with pride. “I cant allow you to do that. This one is on Alfred whomst I saved.”

She gently kisses the tips of her fingers and puts them in the sky which kind of looks like Katniss in the Hunger Games. What a beautiful tribute for which she volunteered. Incredible.