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One Of The First Navy Female Fighter Pilots Landed Southwest Flight With Blown Engine

Photo credit should read DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images

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Henry Rodgers Capitol Hill Reporter

One of the first female Navy pilots in history landed the Southwest Airlines plane forced to make an emergency landing after the engine blew out, according to a Tuesday report.

Navy pilot Tammie Jo Shults landed Southwest Flight 1380 after part of its left engine was destroyed, causing a window on the plane to crack open.

Schults had hopes of being a fighter pilot since an aviation career day in high school, according to a 2006 Navy story that was posted into a forum first reported by the Heavy. The people at the career day told Schults they didn’t accept women. She went on to study veterinary medicine at MNU, but she never let go of her dream to fly.

After graduation, Schults took her dream to the Air Force, which told her no, but the Navy said yes.

Schults would go on to become one of the Navy’s first female fighter pilots, flying the F-18. “She landed her fighter plane on boats at 150 miles per hour and eventually became an instructor,” the Navy reported.

Southwest Flight 1380 was en route to Dallas Love airport from New York City but was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia. Shults, 56, kept calm throughout the horrific incident, as heard in audio from her conversation with air traffic controllers.

After takeoff, a small piece of the airplane’s engine reportedly broke off and smashed a window of the plane while at an altitude of approximately 32,000 ft.

Shults was able to land the plane even though the plane’s engine had been blown out.

“We dropped probably from 30,000 feet to 25,000 feet, and then the pilot kind of regained control and brought it down safely to Philadelphia,” a passenger told Heavy.

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