On Tuesday, an entire planeful of people –- pilot, crew and passengers –- en route from New York to Dallas via Southwest Airlines showed incredible composure and courage as an exploded engine forced them down in Philadelphia. Somehow it almost seems inadequate to call them Huck’s Heroes, because in this case that goes without saying. When a piece of metal from the blast on the wing pierced one of the windows, depressurizing the cabin at 32,000 feet and sucking a woman partially out of the plane, they tried in vain to save her life and showed remarkable bravery during what was almost certainly the most frightening event of their lives.

As for the pilot, we’re learning a bit about the woman who calmly notified air traffic control of their situation and completed her emergency landing with one engine dead. (“Southwest 1380, we’re single engine,” she matter-of-factly reported to the tower. “We have part of the aircraft missing, so we’re going to need to slow down a bit...they said there’s a hole and, uh, someone went out.”) Former Navy pilot Tammie Jo Schults, 56, was already known for breaking barriers for female fighter pilots, and her unshakable attitude would surprise no one who worked with her. But one reason for her incredible sense of calm that probably won’t be mentioned in many reports is that Schults is a devout Christian.


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After the landing, witnesses to her compassion as well as her skill were posting to Facebook about her “nerves of steel” and talent for inspiring confidence. “There are not enough words to thank her,” wrote passenger Diana McBride Self. “Her grace and knowledge under pressure were remarkable. She came through the plane personally to check on us after she landed our crippled airplane. God bless her and her flight crew. We were truly all in amazing hands.”

As someone who knows to let God be her guide at the “controls,” Schults would no doubt say the same.

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Comments 1-13 of 13

  • Karen Maxwell

    04/20/2018 01:16 PM

    Awesome article! Thank you for sharing the information we will never hear from the media!

  • Cassie Marshall

    04/19/2018 02:26 PM

    Having faith and trust in God’s love is what gave her the strength and calm to bring down the plane. May God bless the pilot as well as the family of the lady whose life was lost.

  • Richard Lee Sharp

    04/19/2018 01:40 PM

    True American Hero!

  • michael Gene Langley, MD

    04/19/2018 12:39 PM

    I should have been a pilot! I ran into trouble when I remained "too calm" in face of impending death from major trauma as a general surgery resident doctor, in the ER! Fighter pilot was my first choice! But my color blind state, and bad vision without glasses, kept me from being considered. I thought my calm demeanor in the ER was commendable! It did not seem like a reason to be chastised!?

  • Olivia Taylor

    04/19/2018 12:27 PM

    Very thankful for God's mercy in this emergency and His big YES in answering prayers. It's a special blessing to hear that one of His children was at the controls of that plane. I was saddened to hear that one passenger was killed. Prayers for her family and friends.

  • LORI ANN REGO

    04/19/2018 11:07 AM

    GOV. HUCKABEE THANKS FOR SHARING THE ARTICLE ON THE CHRISTIAN PILOT FOR SOUTHWEST. GOD WAS DEFINATELY HER CO PILOT. IT'S A GOOD THING ALSO SHE HAD HER MILITARY TRAINING . THAT'S A BIG HELP TOO.
    SHE SOUNDS LIKE A VERY CONSCIENCIOUS PILOT.

  • Leonard Lugo

    04/19/2018 10:56 AM

    Great job! Ms. T Shults.! Praise the Lord Jesus!

  • Cordell Axelson

    04/19/2018 10:45 AM

    Governor Huckabee, I wonder if the lady who was partially ejected out the window had her seat belt on. Recommended / suggested of course by the airline, but not enforced. No I do not want the seat belt on when seated to be enforced, as we must be responsible for ourselves in cases like this. I think I will always have mine on when seated.

  • Vickie Fiorentino

    04/19/2018 10:18 AM

    Amen & Amen! would be nice to have that reported on the mainstream media...

  • Richard Palmquist

    04/19/2018 09:51 AM

    AMEN! Thanks for your forthright transparency!

  • Myrtis Wilmoth

    04/19/2018 09:34 AM

    Any time someone holds my life in their hands, I want them to be Christians. They prayerfully do their best, and God hears their prayers.

  • Richard Thornhill

    04/19/2018 09:33 AM

    Powerful testimony by her actions. God gives grace not willing that any should perish.

  • Dale Baker

    04/19/2018 09:03 AM

    Truly this was grace under fire.