Passengers say pilot of ill-fated Southwest Airlines flight is a hero

Passengers say pilot of ill-fated Southwest Airlines flight is a hero

NTSB chairman Robert Sumwalt said the death was the first on a USA passenger airline in over nine years. There was momentary chaos. She also walked through the aisle and talked with passengers to ensure they were OK after the aircraft touched down.

Fellow passengers were able to pull her back inside but she died of her injuries later on Tuesday.

Moments earlier on Tuesday morning, they had been playing Sudoku, catching up on their reading for church and curling up together to watch amusing movies as their Southwest Airlines flight climbed above 30,000 feet on its way from NY to Dallas. And meanwhile, there was blood all over this man's hands. Shults, who one passenger said had nerves of steel, was one of the first women to become a Navy fighter pilot.

Other passengers began trying to plug the hole with jackets and other objects but to no avail.

"There was a family that lost a loved one", Needum said.

The plane descended precipitously, passenger Kristopher Johnson said, but the pilot "regained control" and informed passengers the flight was headed to Philadelphia.

Gregory said while incidents like Tuesday's are rare, they are an important reminder that travelers need to pay attention to the preflight safety briefings.

"We could feel the air from the outside coming in, and then we had smoke kind of coming in the window".

With oxygen masks dangling down and passengers screaming as they struggled to save the woman, the pilot's voice conveyed none of the panic rampant aboard Southwest Flight 1380.

When it was all over, the pilot came out of the cabin and hugged everyone, telling them, "You all did a great job".

About 20 minutes after the twin-engine Boeing 737 took off, shrapnel pierced the passenger compartment causing the plane to lose pressure and rapidly descend.

Southwest declined to provide the plane's maintenance records to The Associated Press, but a spokeswoman said that the failed engine had experienced no unscheduled maintenance in the last 60 days.

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"Engine failures like this should not occur", Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the NTSB, said Wednesday.

"There's a ring around the engine that is meant to contain the engine pieces when this happens", said John Goglia, a former NTSB member.

It was a rough landing, Martinez said, and things were still so chaotic that he wasn't sure if the plane was going to crash. "I can't imagine what they're going through".

Eric Zilbert, from California, said: 'From her waist above, she was outside of the plane'. "Right now, we just want to document everything that we can". "I don't know of anybody that's any better person than Andrew Needum", he said.

Sumwalt said the airliner's flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder were sent to Washington.

It is clear from photographs that the entire forward cowling of the engine separated.

Sumwalt said part of the inquiry will look at the CFM International 56 turbofan engine.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced Wednesday that it would order inspections on engine fan blades like the one that snapped off and triggered the accident.

"Everybody acted and everybody stood strong", he said.

Southwest Airlines Co clashed with engine-maker CFM over the timing of proposed inspections and with regulators over costs after a 2016 accident involving the airline that was caused by a fan blade separating, public documents showed.

They said they were working with investigators and would not be talking to the media.

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