CHICAGO (CBS) — U.S. regulators say they will order inspections on engine fan blades like the one involved in the midair explosion on Tuesday on a Southwest plane.
NTSB investigators say a crack on the interior of the jet engine is what led to its failure.
Debris flying out of it killed one passenger.
The pilot is being credited with saving the lives of the others on board, managing an emergency landing in Philadelphia.
Her name is Tammie Jo Shults.
CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports, those who know her well are not surprised by her poise under immense pressure.
The 56-year-old Shults was one of the first female fighter pilots in the U.S. Navy.
Southwest flight 1380 was en route from New York to Dallas.
The engine explosion forced Shults to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia.
Her steely performance with so much chaos on board earns high marks from investigators and friends who know her well.
“The pilots seemed very calm and assured of what they were doing,” said NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt. “My hat is off to them. They behaved in a manner that their training would prepare them for.”
“She was so cool and calm and put together in the face of a crisis and that is Tammie Jo. That’s how she is wired,” said friend Rachel Russo.
Shults originally reached out to the Air Force to begin her career in flight. After receiving a cold shoulder she persisted, and joined the Navy.