Southwest hero pilot wasn’t supposed to be on the flight, she says

Captain Tammie Jo Shults, one of the Southwest pilots responsible for the safe landing of a flight last month after an engine exploded mid-air, leaving one passenger dead, was reportedly not initially scheduled to pilot the flight.

Shults’ husband Dean, a fellow pilot for the airline, was originally scheduled as the captain on April 17, however Dean offered to do another flight instead so she’d be able to go to her son’s track meet, Shults said during an upcoming interview with ABC News.

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“Dean, being the amazing husband he is, said, ‘You go to the track meet, I’ll switch and take your trip.’ And so that’s why I was on the trip,” Shults said in the interview. “I traded for the trip with my husband. I’m not trading with him anymore.”

Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 was on its way to Dallas’ Love Field from New York’s LaGuardia Airport when it made an emergency landing on the runway of Philadelphia International Airport last month. The landing came after the crew reported damage to one of the engines, the fuselage and at least one window, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has said.

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Passenger Jennifer Riordan was killed after shrapnel from the engine broke through her window on the plane. Riordan, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was a mother of two and a Wells Fargo bank executive.

Shults and first officer Darren Ellisor recalled during the ABC News interview how they worked together throughout the ordeal, with Shults adding that they needed “to use hand signals [and some yelling], because it was loud, and it was just hard to communicate for a lot of different reasons.” Shults was ultimately able to safely land the plane.

Fox News’ Nicole Darrah contributed to this report.

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