We’ve probably all thought about what it must have been like on board that Southwest Airlines flight from New York bound for Dallas this week.
And we all are familiar with the instructions from flight attendants before any commercial jetliner takes off about what to do in an emergency.
The passengers on Southwest Fight 1380 found out, suddenly and unexpectedly, when the left engine on their plane blew up.
Except for one passenger who was tragically and unfortunately sitting next to the one window that was smashed by a piece of the debris from the engine, all the other passengers survived this emergency.
But for several minutes, as the cabin depressurized and dangerously cold wind blew through the plane and the pilot quickly descended to a safe altitude where everyone could breathe, many passengers were thinking this was it.
Amazingly, as frightened and panicked as the passengers were, knowing one engine was gone and knowing one of the passengers was literally dying as the plane made its emergency landing, the pilot of the plane, Navy fighter jet veteran Captain Tammie Jo Shults, did what pilots do in that situation.
Their required training of practicing simulated emergencies along with their mental discipline and experience kick in. Captain Shults safely landed the plane. Her voice in the recorded communication with air traffic control was unemotional and calm.
Passengers praised her actions and other commercial airline pilots and air safety experts said she did what she is supposed to do and she did it well.
Thankfully there are thousands and thousands of pilots just like her who should make us all feel better when we board today’s modern commercial jetliners and know that thanks to them and those who guide, maintain and build today’s planes, air travel remains safer than it has ever been.
(Photo credit Getty Images)