The Internet is raving this week about Tammie Jo Shults, the incredible Southwest Airlines pilot who kept her cool during the emergency landing of Southwest Flight 1380 with 147 passengers on board on Tuesday at Philadelphia International Airport.
Shults, 56, who was one of the first female fighter pilots in the Navy, is no stranger to extreme working conditions: She has experience responding to Soviet missile threats, CNN reports.
But her flight on Tuesday was something straight out of a nightmare. According to multiple reports, the plane's left engine "exploded" shortly into the flight, and shrapnel from the failed engine broke a window. A passenger was partially sucked out of it, and later died. According to The New York Times, oxygen masks dropped down and the plane started descending rapidly.
In the cockpit, however, Shults kept impressively calm while speaking with an air traffic controller, according to audio captured by LiveATC, which you can listen to below. The recording starts off with the routine elements of a flight—fuel levels, number of passengers on board—but by 0:52, Shults starts to relay the details of the emergency.
"Engine severe damage; engine failure,” she says calmly.
At 4:34, she asks for medical staff to meet the plane on the runway because there are injured passengers on board.
"Injured passengers, OK," the air traffic controller responds. "And is your airplane physically on fire?"
"No, it’s not on fire," Shults replies coolly. "But part of it’s missing. They said there’s a hole and someone went out."
By 6:04, it's clear she's made it, relaying: "We’re going to stop right here by the fire trucks. Thanks, guys, for the help."
After safely landing the aircraft, Shults reportedly went up to passengers to make sure they were OK.
"She has nerves of steel," passenger Alfred Tumlinson told The Washington Post. "She was so cool when she brought that down into the Philadelphia airport. Everybody just was applauding."
“As captain and first officer of the crew of five who worked to serve our customers aboard Flight 1380 yesterday, we all feel we were simply doing our jobs," Shults said in a statement provided by Southwest Airlines. "Our hearts are heavy. On behalf of the entire crew, we appreciate the outpouring of support from the public and our coworkers as we all reflect on one family’s profound loss."
Listen to the full audio, and marvel at Shults' incredible composure during what was undoubtedly one of the most terrifying experiences of her life—along with the lives of the passengers on her plane.