People Are Praising The Pilot Who Safely Landed Her Flight After An Engine Exploded

"I'm extremely proud of her. She saved a lot of lives today."

After an engine exploded on a Southwest Airlines flight Tuesday, people are praising the pilot who brought the plane down for an emergency landing. She's been identified as Tammie Jo Shults, a Navy veteran who was one of its first female fighter pilots. 

People noted Shults' calm demeanor in her call to air traffic control during the crisis. There was one reported fatality and several minor injuries on the flight, which was carrying 149 passengers and landed safely in Philadelphia. 

Several passengers who were on the flight posted about the experience on social media, thanking Shults and noting that she came back to speak to everyone and make sure they were OK after landing the Boeing 737. 

"She has nerves of steel. That lady, I applaud her," passenger Alfred Tumlinson told AP. "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."

Some are comparing Shults to Sully Sullenberger, the pilot who safely landed his flight on the Hudson River in 2009 after it was struck by a flock of geese. Tom Hanks went on to play him in the 2016 movie Sully. Needless to say, many would love to see a similar movie about Shults.

The film would certainly have something to say about the role of women in aviation. Women only make up about 6.7 percent of pilots in the United States, according to the organization Women in Aviation. Last year, Southwest celebrated an "unmanned" flight with an all-female crew.

Cindy Foster, who attended MidAmerica Nazarene University with Shults, told the Kansas City Star that Shults faced "a lot of resistance" for her gender, as the Air Force apparently denied her the chance to become a pilot. She later became the first woman to fly an F/A-18 Hornet for the Navy.

"So she knew she had to work harder than everyone else," Foster explained. "She did it for herself and all women fighting for a chance. ... I'm extremely proud of her. She saved a lot of lives today."

See more tweets about Shults below:

Cover image: Angel DiBilio /

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