Sunday, 25 August, 2019

Southwest pilots forced to use hand signals on window blast flight

Tammie Jo Shults ABC News Southwest Airlines pilot Tammie Jo Shults
Russell Knight | 10 May, 2018, 23:57

On April 17, Southwest Flight 1380 experienced engine failure about 20 minutes after takeoff from New York City's LaGuardia International Airport en route to Dallas Love Field.

In her first interview, Tammie Jo Shults tells the United States current affairs show 20/20, about her reaction after realising one of the two engines on the Boeing 737 had exploded. Others started streaming live on Facebook.

Capt Shults was praised by passengers for her calm demeanour, and was congratulated by Donald Trump at the White House for her work landing the aircraft. "Just because it seems like a flashback to some of the Navy flying that we had done". "Was there some of that fear? There probably was deep down, but I, you know, pushed it away".

"I traded for the trip with my husband". That lady, I applaud her.

"We had a large bang and a rapid decompression". "We had a very severe vibration from the No. 1 engine", he said. "It was very disorienting to have all these things happen at once". The hour looks back into Tammie Jo's Navy training as one of the first female pilots, before women were allowed in combat. While they each had training they could rely on, the amount of noise that followed the engine failure made communication hard. She said they communicated by hand signals - and some yelling - because it was so noisy.

Shults dealt with ground control, while Ellisor flew the plane.

The plane made an emergency landing in Philadelphia and passenger Jennifer Riordan - a New Mexico bank executive and mother of two - was later pronounced dead.

"Everybody was just communicating with their eyes because nobody could really hear anything initially".

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But because of what one passenger called Shults' "nerves of steel", the plane landed safely in Philadelphia and no other passengers were hurt. "They said there's a hole and uh... someone went out".

"Tammie Jo, she did a fantastic job, considering the condition of the aircraft and the situation it was".

"Everything was exactly the way it's supposed to be, just rolling down the runway and when you get to a certain speed, you take off", Ellisor said.

After the flight landed, Shults told ABC she walked into the cabin to check on the flight crew and passengers.

Eillsor and Shults told their families about the flight, and while Ellisor's wife expressed concern, Shults said she received a lighthearted response from her son, Marshall.

National Transportation Safety Board chairman Robert Sumwalt said the death was the first in a United States passenger airline accident in over nine years.

She revealed that there was so much noise from the loss of pressure they had to resort to a new form of communication.

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