It was a routine flight out of LaGuardia, headed to Dallas. Instead, it made an emergency landing in Philadelphia.
It happens often enough that here in Philly, no one really bats an eye: sick passenger, bomb threat, mechanical trouble. It hardly ever turns out to be anything serious.
Yesterday, it was.
Fortunately, Tammie Jo Shults was at the controls of the Boeing 737-700. Just listen to her conversation with the Philadelphia control tower -- calm and controlled.
Which is what you'd expect from almost any pilot -- except this was one flying a plane with an engine explosion that tore a hole in the side of the craft, where one woman was nearly
sucked blown out of the plane and later died. In other words, not typical.
Shults was one of the first women to fly an F/A-18 Hornet for the Navy. That kind of focus and determination must have come in handy yesterday.