Accident and Safety Awareness Blog - Lexton Personal Injury Lawyers
hero pilot saves crashing southwest plane after engine explodes
Philadelphia: Tammie Jo Shults Identified as ‘Hero’ Pilot when Engine Explodes Midair on Southwest Flight

PHILADELPHIA (April 17, 2018) – Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 departed from New York at 12:30 a.m. and was forced to conduct an emergency landing in Philadelphia after the left engine of the aircraft exploded midair; Jennifer Riordan, 43-year-old mother of two, was one among 144 passengers aboard this ill-fated flight and was tragically killed.(map)

On Tuesday morning, 144 passengers and 5 crew members boarded the Boeing 747 plane that was bound for Dallas from New York. The alleged 3-hour flight took an unexpected turn of events when the sound of an explosion from the aircraft’s engine cut through the air, only 20 minutes into the flight. Flight trackers estimate that the aircraft descended from 31,684 feet to 10,00 feet in about five minutes. Metal pieces of the engine broke apart and burst through one of the plane’s windows. A woman, identified as 43-year-old Jennifer Riordan, was sucked towards the hole as passengers struggled to pull her back in.Instant chaos ensued as several passengers tried to frantically patch up the hole in the window by stuffing it with clothes and jackets, but to no avail. Among the frantic screaming and crying passengers, some were writing final notes to their loved ones on napkins as they awaited their fate. The pilot of the plane was able to regain control of the ill-fated plane and safely land the deteriorating Boeing 737 on the Philadelphia airport runway.

A passenger aboard the plane and registered nurse, identified as Peggy Williams, attempted CPR on Riordan, but to no avail. Jennifer Riordan succumbed to her injuries and was killed as a result of the deadly incident. Seven other passengers aboard the plane sustain minor injuries.

Tammie Jo Shults, 56-years-old was identified as the courageous hero who was able to regain control of the crashing Boeing 737 plane. As one of the first female fighter pilots in the U.S. Navy, her skills and experience may have allowed her to calmly tell air traffic control that a region of her plane was missing, and that she would need ambulance crews on the runway immediately. The brave pilot with nerves of steel thanked the majority of the 144 passengers for their bravery as they were leaving the plane, after she safely landed the aircraft in Philadelphia. Shults accomplished the seemingly impossible and saved the lives of every passenger and crew member on the aircraft.

The NTSB will continue to investigate the horrific incident, with the aim to determine the cause of this mid-flight engine explosion. They have confirmed that the window, fuselage and engine of the plane were damaged due to the left engine’s initial failure. Lexton Law will continue to update this article as more information is released.

“The NTSB investigates every aviation accident in the country. We subscribe to their service and are aware of every accident, and have an intimate knowledge of the many causes of aircraft crashes. We are experts in this area,” said the attorneys from Lexton Law. Lexton Law handles aviation cases all over the country, and is a leading expert in aviation crashes.,” said the attorneys from Lexton Law Firm. Call us today at (877) 541-2111. We are here to help you.

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