Chesley “Sulley” Sullenberger landed an airplane in the Hudson River, saving the lives of passengers aboard the USAir jetliner.
They made a movie about it, casting Tom Hanks in the role of “Sulley.”
They need to make another film about a heroic pilot. Her name is Tammie Jo Shults, who this week saved the lives of more than 100 passengers when a Southwest Airlines jetliner — bound from New York to Dallas — she was flying suffered a grievous engine failure.
The engine exploded, sending shrapnel into the fuselage. It knocked a window out, nearly pulling a passenger out of the aircraft, which was at 33,000 feet when the incident occurred. The passenger suffered mortal wounds from the incident.
Shults’s reaction, though, has been hailed as nothing short of heroic. She quickly took the plane into a descent. The plane’s oxygen masks were deployed. Shults’s cool, calm and measured demeanor as she radioed to the nearest aircraft tower of her emergency has been recorded and noted.
According to NBC News:
“We have part of the aircraft missing, so we’re going to need to slow down a bit,” she’s heard calmly telling air traffic controllers in audio transmissions after reporting the aircraft’s engine failure.
“Could you have medical meet us there on the runway as well? We’ve got injured passengers,” Shults then requests.
The captain of the ship did her job flawlessly.
Her training as a Navy pilot stood her in great stead as she took the plane to a safe landing, saving many more lives. I’ll add, too, that only about 6 percent of U.S. commercial airline pilots are female.
The investigation will go forward. The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will get to the bottom of the what went wrong and presumably recommended ways to prevent this kind of event from recurring.
After all that is done — and I know I’m not the first person to offer this view — they need to make a movie about this amazing feat.