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18th Apr 2018

Here’s the conversation between the pilot and air traffic control after Jennifer Riordan’s tragic incident

'There's a hole and someone went out'

Paul Moore

The heroic pilot has been praised for her ‘nerves of steel’.

Following the tragic death of Jennifer Riordan on Southwest Airlines Flight 1380, her family have released the following statement.

“Jennifer Riordan has passed away as a result of previously reported events on Southwest Airlines flight #1380. Jennifer’s vibrancy, passion and love infused our community and reached across our country. Her impact on everything and everyone she touched can never be fully measured. But foremost, she is the bedrock of our family. She and Mike wrote a love story unlike any other. Her beauty and love is evident through her children. We are so appreciative of the outpouring of support from family, friends and our community. We do ask that those who seek to express their condolences and prayers as well as media outlets respect our privacy at this time. Our family and friends need this time to both grieve and celebrate Jennifer’s impact on us all. In her memory–please remember to always be kind, loving, caring, and sharing.”

Since the incident occured, various passengers have given their first-hand account of what happened on the flight and despite the horrific events, they’ve unanimously praised the speed and professionalism of the pilot and the medical staff that treated those with injuries.

In an interview with NBC Philadelphia, Todd Baur gave his daughter-in-law’s eyewitness account of what happened on the plane.

“Thankfully they had just an incredible crew – the pilot and co-pilot were incredible. She’ telling us that there was an EMT and a medic on board, as well as a registered nurse. Apparently, the left engine blew through shrapnel and the shrapnel went into one of the windows. It depressurised the plane immediately and one passenger, a woman, was partially drawn out of the plane and was pulled back inwards by the other passengers. She’s the one who was injured. Our daughter is saying that the medical staff were true heroes. The pilot was incredible on the plane, the flight attendants were amazing.”

Sadly, despite the best efforts of the medical staff, Jennifer Riordan passed away. Another seven people suffered minor injuries.

In an audio recording of the exchange that took place between the air traffic controllers and the pilots, the pilot is instructed to slow down and maintain altitude above 3,000 feet.

What’s extremely harrowing is when she says: “they said there’s a hole and someone went out. Could you have the medical meet us there on the runway as well? We’ve got injured passengers.”

Despite this horrific accident, the pilot of Southwest Airlines Flight 1380, Tammie Jo Shults, has been praised for her calmness and composure during the incident as seen during this conversation below.

The Lead NTSB investigator, Bill English, has now received the Flight Data Recorder and Cockpit Voice Recorder from the Southwest Airlines flight. It’s going to be sent to NTSB headquarters in Washington, DC for investigation.

Southwest Airlines have released the following statement:

Southwest Airlines confirms an accident involving Southwest Airlines Flight #1380. The flight made an emergency diversion to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) earlier today after the Crew reported issues with the number one engine which resulted in damage to the fuselage.

We are deeply saddened to confirm that there is one fatality resulting from this accident. The entire Southwest Airlines Family is devastated and extends its deepest, heartfelt sympathy to the Customers, Employees, Family Members, and loved ones affected by this tragic event. We have activated our Emergency Response Team and are deploying every resource to support those affected by this tragedy. 

The aircraft involved today was a Boeing 737-700 (N772SW) and was enroute from New York LaGuardia (LGA) to Dallas Love Field (DAL). In total, the flight had 144 Customers and five Southwest Crew Members onboard.  We extend our heartfelt appreciation to the Southwest Pilots and Flight Attendants who acted professionally and swiftly to take care of our Customers during the emergency diversion and landing.

Finally, Southwest Airlines officials are in direct contact with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to support an immediate, coordinated response to this accident. Southwest is in the process of gathering additional information regarding Flight #1380 and will fully cooperate in an investigative process.

Please join the Southwest Family in keeping all of those affected by today’s tragedy in your thoughts.

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