Congresswoman Martha McSally

Representing the 2nd District of Arizona

McSally to Introduce Congressional Resolution to Honor Southwest Pilot Tammie Jo Shults for Her Life-Saving Heroism

April 19, 2018
Press Release
Commends the Fellow Female Trailblazer for Paving the Way for Women in Aviation

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Martha McSally is introducing a resolution in Congress to honor Tammie Jo Shults, the Southwest Pilot and fellow female trailblazer aviator who heroically landed a damaged 737 Boeing aircraft, saving the lives of nearly every single one-hundred and forty-nine souls on board. Before she started flying for Southwest in 1993, Tammie Jo Shults was one of the first female fighter jet pilots for the U.S. Navy. Although she was never allowed to fly in combat, Captain Shults was an aggressor and instructor and her ten years of military experience equipped her to handle the emergency safely and with impressive calmness.

“Captain Tammie Jo Shults is nothing short of an American hero. The Air Force and the Navy made a big mistake when they decided not to let her fly in combat, but her courage and her calmness under pressure from all of her years of fighter pilot experience is a reminder that the airplane doesn’t care if you are a man or a woman as long as you have the qualifications and the training to complete the mission – and she did that yesterday. Not only did she pave the way for women like me in aviation, but husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters are alive today because of her. I’m introducing this resolution to commend her for her service to our nation—in both military and commercial cockpits,” said Congresswoman McSally.

In her Congressional resolution, Rep. McSally will commend Captain Tammie Jo Shults and the crew of Southwest Flight 1380 for their display of courage and heroism that saved 148 lives; and praises Captain Tammie Jo Shults not only for her commitment to the safety of the passengers on her plane, but for paving the way for women in military and commercial aviation.

Congresswoman McSally discussed her admiration for Captain Tammie Jo Shults yesterday on Fox News with Shannon Bream and explained how the rigorous training she received in Navy as a fighter pilot prepared her for the Southwest emergency.

Click HERE or below to watch the clip.

McSally also shared her thoughts on Captain Shults with Task and Purpose defense magazine. Click HERE to read her comments in the story.

The full text of the draft resolution is below.

Ms. MCSALLY submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

RESOLUTION

Honoring Captain Tammie Jo Shults and the crew of Southwest Flight 1380 for their bravery, knowledge, and dedication to the safety of passengers on board.

Whereas on April 17, 2018, Captain Tammie Jo Bonnell Shults piloted Southwest Flight 1380, destined for Dallas, Texas, from New York’s LaGuardia Airport;

Whereas 149 people were on board Flight 1380, 144 passengers and five crew members;

Whereas Flight 1380 suffered an in-flight failure of its left engine approximately twenty minutes after takeoff, sending shrapnel into the fuselage.

Whereas seven passengers were injured and the life of Jennifer Riordan, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was tragically lost during the accident. Riordan is survived by two children and her husband, Michael Riordan.

Whereas on April 17, 2018, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said in a statement that Mrs. Riordan’s death is a “tremendous and tragic loss” and “her leadership and philanthropic efforts made this [Albuquerque] a better place every day and she will be terribly missed.”

Whereas Captain Shults’s experience and quick thinking allowed her to successfully complete an emergency landing at the Philadelphia International Airport, saving the lives of every passenger except for Mrs. Riordan and avoiding any casualties on the ground;

Whereas after making a safe emergency landing, Captain Schults, as shared by passenger Diana McBride Self, “came back to speak to each” of the passengers personally.

Whereas Captain Shults was one of the first female fighter pilots in the Navy’s history and the first woman to fly F/A-18 Hornets.

Whereas, although she was never allowed to fly in combat, she became an aggressor pilot and an instructor;

Whereas Captain Shults served in the Navy for 10 years, reaching the rank of Navy lieutenant commander.

Whereas a friend of Captain Shults said that her military training prepared her for this moment. “Those are the kinds of people you want as pilots. That’s what she does, and she’s good at it.”

Whereas thanks to the calmness, courage, heroism, and experience demonstrated by Captain Shults and the crew of Southwest Flight 1380, 148 lives were saved and countless others were spared: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(1) commends Captain Tammie Jo Shults and the crew of Southwest Flight 1380 for their display of courage and heroism that saved 148 lives; and

(2) praises Captain Tammie Jo Shults not only for her commitment to the safety of the passengers on her plane, but for paving the way for women in military and commercial aviation.

 

 

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